OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — With restrictions lifting and mask policies loosening, UNO has sent out its new campus mask guidance.
So for many, to wear a mask or to not wear a mask will be the question as students return to in-person learning this fall.
Fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff will have the option to mask up or not and those who are vaccinated are happy for the new freedom.
"I am tired of wearing a mask and I feel safe without one," said fully vaccinated student, Seamus Monaghan.
"I do have a vaccine and I have had it since the beginning of April so I have just been kind of waiting patiently for the masks to start to trickle away, I feel safe and hopefully other people feel safe too," said fully vaccinated student, Spencer French.
If you are not vaccinated you are required to wear a mask while indoors on campus. If you are vaccinated the choice is yours.
"There are a couple of places where the policy is different and one would be on public transportation like our UNO shuttles so masks are still required there as well as child care centers as they have different requirements," said Dr. Jane Meza, Associate Vice Chancellor, UNO
Regardless of status, masks are required on all of the school shuttle buses. All eating facilities, including the Maverick Den, will be open for the upcoming semester. Even dressing rooms inside the bookstore will once again be able to be used.
While the university strongly encourages students to get vaccinated, it is not required. But they are already thinking of ways to encourage vaccination.
"I know the Douglas County Health Department has a mobile vaccine van and they can park it in the residence halls parking lots and we can bring the vaccines to the students," added Meza.
Those who have not been vaccinated are asked to continue to mask up, but it's all on an honor policy.
"I feel most people are honest but you are going to get those who choose not to wear it and who have not been vaccinated, I hope people are honest but I don't know," said Monaghan.
Dr. Meza added, "The majority of our faculty, staff and students are honest and if you are not vaccinated and you are not wearing a mask the biggest person at risk is yourself of getting COVID."
Right now, the requirement for social distancing in classrooms is six feet apart. In the fall that will be reduced to just three feet apart.
Although this is their official policy, it is a fluid one. Meza adds that as the CDC guidelines change they may change their policies prior to classes starting to remain in compliance with CDC guidelines.