The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

NKU ends mask mandate for fully vaccinated people

May 18, 2021

Starting today, fully vaccinated individuals on NKU’s campus are no longer required to wear a mask or social distance, according to a campus-wide email sent out by President Ashish Vaidya late this morning. 

The email discusses new CDC guidelines that “fully vaccinated people no longer need to maintain social distancing or wear masks except while traveling on public transportation, while in airports or transportation stations, or while in congregate settings such as prisons, homeless shelters, nursing facilities or hospitals.”

Vaidya said in the email that these new guidelines provide light at the end of the tunnel. 

“This news is a sign that we are well on our way to beating this dreadful virus. However, there are several issues we need to sort out as we learn more about how best to approach health and safety protocols for NKU. Based on current information, here is what we can say: Starting today, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer be required to wear masks anywhere on NKU’s campus, nor will they need to socially distance,” the email states. 

Vaidya added in the email that those who are unvaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks indoors. 

“Real world data has conclusively demonstrated that COVID-19 is spread almost exclusively via aerosol mist. This means that unventilated indoor spaces are still high-risk areas for unvaccinated people,” the email states. 

Vaidya concluded the email with a reminder to get vaccinated if you have not already done so. 

“Once again – if you are not vaccinated, you are not safe – which is why NKU strongly encourages all faculty, staff, and students to get vaccinated for COVID-19,” Vaidya wrote in the email. 

Questions about NKU’s updated masking policy can be sent to

To schedule an appointment to receive your free COVID-19 vaccine through the Heath, Counseling and Student Wellness Center, call (859) 572-5650 or email You do not need to be a Kentucky resident to receive the vaccine through HCSW.

To view additional locations of where to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, click here

To view more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, click here

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