Rider University to end indoor mask mandate March 5


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Rider University will end its indoor mask mandate for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, beginning March 5.

After that date, students and employees will only be required to wear masks indoors for a few special scenarios: when they are at the Student Health Center; during days six through 10 following quarantine or isolation; and for the period of 10 days following exposure for close contacts who are not required to quarantine, according to information released by the university on March 3.

Despite the lifting of the mandate, anyone who wishes to wear a mask is free to do so.

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The move was announced alongside other changes to Rider’s COVID-19 protocols. These include the end of surveillance testing for unvaccinated students and employees and the end of Rider’s testing protocol for productions and concerts, effective March 30, according to the statement.

Under these new protocols, both vaccinated and unvaccinated students can perform on stage in productions can perform without testing or masks, unless it is during days six through 10 following quarantine or isolation or for the period of 10 days following exposure for close contacts who are not required to quarantine, according to the statement.

The use of on-campus and off-campus COVID-19 assumption of risk forms for all guests will still be required, including for performances.

The announcement coincides with updated guidance and tools from the New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as a new CDC dashboard that tracks COVID-19 activity county by county to help communities decide what prevention steps to take.

Mercer County is currently considered low, according to the statement.
Gov. Phil Murphy has announced the state will lift the mask mandate for grades K-12 beginning March 7.

Some current protocols will remain in place until further notice.

The Student Health Center will continue to offer diagnostic testing for symptomatic students, and Athletics will continue testing student-athletes as per NCAA requirements, according to the statement.

Rider will continue conducting contact tracing and enforce state Department of Health and CDC quarantine and isolation guidance.
Students and employees will still need to monitor their symptoms daily and not come to campus or attend classes, activities or events if they are symptomatic.

Finally, the university also announced that proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required for students once again for the 2022-23 academic year, except for those who are in fully online degree programs or who are granted medical or religious exemptions, according to the statement. Full vaccination means two doses of a two-dose series or one dose of a one-dose series. Booster shots are strongly encouraged.

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