Loyola to keep campus-wide mask mandate through end of the semester

Loyola%27s+statue+of+St.+Ignatius+stands+outside+of+the+Danna+Center+wearing+a+mask+at+the+beginning+of+the+fall+semester.+Loyola+will+be+offering+a+January+term+of+classes+in+2021%2C+focused+on+diversity+and+inclusion+initiatives.

Alexandria Whitten

Loyola’s statue of St. Ignatius stands outside of the Danna Center wearing a mask at the beginning of the fall semester. Loyola will be offering a January term of classes in 2021, focused on diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Madeline Taliancich

Loyola announced today that it will continue to require masks until the end of the semester in a school-wide email from Alicia Bourque, chief student affairs officer.

This announcement came after Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday afternoon that he would be ending the mask mandate across the state that has been in effect since July 2020.

Masks won’t be disappearing altogether in the state. Edwards said they will still be required throughout Louisiana on public transit, K-12 schools, many state government buildings, all health care facilities licensed by the Louisiana Department of Health, and colleges and universities.

Bourque said that it’s important for students to understand that, even as the state eases restrictions, New Orleans still requires mask-wearing. If government restrictions loosen before students leave campus in May, mask-wearing will still be required by Loyola, she said.

“We will lift this requirement only when both the CDC recommendations and city/state governance allow,” she said.

Masks will also be required at all graduation festivities, according to Bourque.

Bourque stressed the importance of remaining cautious even as a return to “normal” is on the horizon. She said, although COVID case numbers are low in Louisiana and many are getting vaccinated, “the virus is still very much present.”

“We know that masks have proven to be effective and will continue our campus mandate to ensure our community’s safety,” she said.