Keene State College should be ready to get rid of masks

The March 1 State of the Union (SOTU) address reassured a step towards the return to “normal” when it comes to COVID-19 related situations. During the SOTU address, President Biden said the need to shut down schools and businesses is behind us. The main statement he made that caught the attention of The Equinox was that most Americans can remove their masks and stay in the classroom. Even CDC masking guidelines say our community is good to wear masks if individuals feel they have to. While considering what this could mean for the foreseeable future, The Equinox came to the conclusion that it’s time we allowed people to wear masks at their own discretion. 

COVID-19 has torn our communities apart in the past two years, but the struggle has brought learning. The medical field has worked tirelessly to learn about the coronavirus and its variants. Even the development of the few COVID-19 vaccines has allowed a little regularity to return to our day-to-day routines. 

President Biden said in the SOTU address that we as a country have the tools we need to prevent shutdowns and outbreaks, and should feel safe to return to our offices, schools and downtown scenes. The Equinox agrees, as we are a student led publication that has first hand seen the effects the pandemic has had on schools. We think removing a mask mandate on campus would be in line with the federal suggestions and would be a step in the right direction. 

Keene State College has been very active in their COVID-19 policies and are updating them all the time. We’ve seen that the CDC is taking a more loose approach to  masking guidelines, with Cheshire County being suggested to wear masks if at high risk for severe illness. 

If students feel that they are safe without a mask, then they shouldn’t be required to wear them. The KSC policies currently require students to wear masks in indoor spaces outside of our dorm rooms, but our continuous testing protocols and the new CDC guideline updates should put us in the direction of getting rid of mask requirements. 

It has also been known in our community that most of the COVID-19 cases on campus are from students going off campus. The CDC guidelines cover masking in our respective communities, so if the school follows in step with the government, there shouldn’t be a reason to not get rid of a mask mandate. 

We’ve seen restlessness among students when it comes to  masking, but right now is the perfect time to take advantage of a step past the pandemic. The Equinox thinks it’s time to let the mask mandates on campus go, and let individual students decide if they want to mask up. 


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