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RIT strengthens masking policy

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RIT officials have announced that effective Thursday, August 5, face masks will be required indoors for everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status.

In a note posted on the university’s website, President David Munson said the administration is disappointed to have to take that step, but he noted that COVID-19 transmission rates are increasing in many parts of the country, including Monroe County.

Munson said the move is in line with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, New York state and Monroe County.

At RIT, the indoor mask requirement applied at all times, except when someone is alone in a private office, their living space, or while eating. In addition, members of the RIT community who are not fully vaccinated are also required to wear face masks outdoors in crowded settings when distancing cannot be observed.

Similar steps are being taken by some other area colleges.

It was also announced this week that the University of Rochester, URMC and its affiliates, Rochester Regional Health and Monroe County employees will need to be vaccinated by September 8 or undergo frequent regular COVID testing and stricter safety protocols including wearing masks indoors.

Officials also began requiring this week that all Monroe County employees have to wear face masks or face coverings in public and common areas in all County-operated facilities.

The county is also recommending masking of all residents in all indoor facilities.

The latest updates come as Monroe County Commissioner of Public Health, Dr. Michael Mendoza on Wednesday said the county surpassed 100 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time since May 23rd.