Ball State announced in an email Wednesday masks will be optional starting 5 p.m. Friday, March 4.
According to the email, masks will no longer be required for students, staff, faculty or visitors in campus buildings or vehicles.
The announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced relaxed mask mandates for nearly 70 percent of the country. Under the new guidelines, the CDC no longer recommends counties with a "low" or "medium" community level wear masks in public indoor spaces. According to CDC data from Feb. 24, Delaware County is still considered to have a "high" community level, meaning masks are still recommended.
The email cited last week's positive COVID-19 case count, which was 17, the lowest case count since the beginning of the school year. It also cited the "relatively high vaccination rates" among full-time employees and students. Ball State doesn't currently publicly report how many students have received their COVID-19 vaccine.
Despite the new guidelines, Ball State still recommends students get vaccinated and for high-risk individuals to continue wearing a mask indoors, according to the email. It also asks that students "respect anyone who chooses to wear a mask, irrespective of that person's reasons for doing so."
After spring break, Ball State will continue administering COVID-19 tests and vaccines beginning March 15 and 16.
If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, you can find a vaccination location near you and sign up for an appointment at ourshot.in.gov.