KU Lawrence, Edwards campuses to begin phasing out indoor mask mandate today


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Letter from University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas A. Girod

Faculty, staff and students,

The Douglas County Commission’s decision to let the county mask mandate expire as planned yesterday reflects the dramatic improvement in our region’s COVID situation. Case rates and hospitalizations continue to fall, and Douglas County is no longer considered an area of high transmission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For these reasons, today the University of Kansas will begin phasing out our indoor mask mandate on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses. Effective at 5 p.m. today, our mask policy will reflect the following:

  • Masks will continue to be required in classrooms.
  • Masks are no longer required in non-classroom settings such as libraries, dining halls, research labs, hallways, athletics facilities, offices, meeting rooms and similar areas.
  • The only non-classroom settings in which masks are still required are Watkins Health Center, childcare facilities and campus buses.

We realize this will be an adjustment for some individuals, which is why we are taking a phased approach starting with non-classroom spaces. Looking ahead, I expect we will remove the classroom mask requirement after Spring Break. I will communicate our decision to you in advance of the effective date.

Although we are phasing out our mask mandate, individuals should continue to feel comfortable wearing masks wherever they see fit. I know I can count on each of you to respect your fellow Jayhawks’ preferences regarding masks.

Vaccines and testing available on campus
Remember, vaccines and testing are a key reason our university is able to move away from masks. If you have not been vaccinated or boosted, we encourage you to do so. Vaccines and testing are available at no charge at pharmacies and health clinics across the region and on campus at Watkins Health Center.

Thank you
The pandemic has taught us we should expect the unexpected, and if conditions take a turn in the wrong direction, we will adjust as we have in the past. With that said, given the continued decline in COVID case rates and hospitalizations in our region, now is the appropriate time to begin phasing out our mask mandate.

Thank you for continuing to prioritize health and safety on our campus.



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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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