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Purdue Fort Wayne committee set to meet this week, discuss campus mask wearing policy

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A Purdue Fort Wayne committee is set to meet this week, to consider whether to revise the school's mask-optional policy. COVID cases are increasing rapidly across parts of the U.S.

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - Purdue Fort Wayne appears to be opening the door to re-consider its mask optional policy for the upcoming fall semester.

Right now, wearing masks on the grounds is recommended, but not required, and that goes for indoors as well.

On Wednesday, Purdue Fort Wayne's Ready Committee will meet and assess the current campus face covering policy, to see if it needs to be made more restrictive.

The CDC is now recommending both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear masks in public, indoor spaces where there is substantial transmission of the coronavirus.

Delta variant cases are increasing in many parts of the country, causing some companies and educational institutions to wrestle with mask wearing changes.

PFW grad student Chance McKibben, who got his undergrad degree at another Indiana college, doesn't want to go back to the days of feeling like a face covering is as much a part of your daily wardrobe as socks and a shirt.

"I spent my undergraduate (time) at Ball St. University and my entire senior year was masks all over the place, so kind of my perspective is, I feel like at this point, the students who are vaccinated should be able to not have to wear the mask when they're outside and when they're around others who are vaccinated," McKibben said.

Administrators at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne, which will welcome 1,500 in-person learning students back on campus August 23, are keeping an eye on what health experts are saying, but they aren't planning to go away from a mindset of masks being optional.

"We are monitoring the situation, if things needs to change we'll communicate that out immediately to anybody, but right now as I said we're feeling confident that we can get back to more of a normal experience on campus," said Brian Engelhart, Indiana Tech's Vice President of Marketing and Communication.

Starting Monday, August 2, face masks were again required in all indoor venues at Purdue's West Lafayette campus and that goes for everybody, vaccinated or not.

The same requirement will kick in at Purdue Northwest on Tuesday, August 3.

Trine University in Angola and the University of St. Francis in Fort Wayne are both following mask-optional policies for fall classes with no masks required at either school.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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