LOGAN – A policy implemented this week by Utah State University President Noelle Cockett making face masks mandatory on USU’s campuses is in line with Gov. Gary Herbert’s executive order for state buildings and facilities.
She said the goal of the temporary policy is reducing the risk of infection for everyone on campus. What about enforcement?
“I actually have a phrase: ‘We are not the COVID police.’ So on enforcement, we’d like to replace that with encouragement,” Pres. Cockett explained. “A sense of togetherness, a sense of ‘this is our Aggie family’ and let’s keep each other safe. And to do that you wear a mask, you social distance, you stay home when you’re sick and you practice good hygiene.”
In the five months since the USU campus was shutdown, extensive planning by Cockett and her administrative team has been aimed at opening for classes in the fall while reducing the risk of infection.
“The confidence on our first day is extremely high, with all the plans we have in place,” she added. “But, again, the university does not do this alone. So, we need the involvement and the actions of our employees as well as students and all the visitors to our campus. And even our local community. We’re all in this together.”
Under the campus face coverings policy, masks will be required when inside all university buildings throughout the state, in outdoor university spaces where social distancing is difficult, in USU vehicles when riding with others and outside when it is difficult to stay six feet from others.
President Cockett said she encourages everybody to accept that these are not normal times and changes are inevitable.