LSU students are going into this holiday season maskless after a week without masks on campus. On Nov. 16 President Tate announced in an email to students the end of LSU’S indoor mask mandate.
Dr. Rebecca Christofferson is a member of the LSU Health and Medical Advisory and an expert on how the virus spreads. She says she and the advisory committee looked at data around the world and in our area when making their advisory decision.
“In the community of LSU we have high vaccination rates,” Christofferson said. “At the peak of the Delta surge we had 190 cases in a day, now we have 15.”
However, Christofferson says this is not the end. There is a possibility the masks will come back. Members of the advisory team will be carefully tracking cases, especially after the holidays.
“If things start to get bad because again, we are looking at this data daily, we may have to bring it back,” Christofferson said. “We don’t know where we will be after Thanksgiving and Christmas, but right now we are actually doing really well.”
LSU freshman Ryleigh Choplin says she is happy the masks are gone.
“I mean it’s still optional if you do want to wear it, so I think that’s good,” Choplin said. “But honestly, it was time for LSU to lift it, and I’m glad they did.”
Dr. Christofferson says just because the mask mandate is gone, doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear one.
“Sometimes we wear masks situationally, like if we are in a really crowded place,” Christofferson said.
Christofferson pointed out that masks can be used to help decrease the spread of other sicknesses too.
“There’s more than just COVID out there. There’s RSV, there’s the flu,” Christofferson explained. “We’re seeing a pretty good number of flu cases right now.”
LSU is asking students to be cautious and use good judgment over the Thanksgiving holiday. Although the mandate is lifted, masks are still required on Tiger Trails buses and at the Student Health Center. All three COVID vaccines and vaccine booster shots are available on campus as well.