FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Colorado State University has announced it will no longer require masks on its Fort Collins campus. The university made the decision on Monday to rid of their 16-month policy of masks being worn in all campus facilities. Now, masks will only be required in medical facilities and on public transit.

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The decision to lift masking regulations came as vaccinations nationally increased while COVID-19 positive cases decreased. Additionally, CSU announced months ago that they will require all students and staff on campus to be vaccinated for the Fall 2021 semester with few exceptions including medical and religious.

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“It is super exciting, we weathered the last 16 months,” said Marc Barker, Assistant VP of Safety and Risk Services at CSU. “(Ridding of the mask mandate) was based on following national, state and local trends. And, also closely monitoring our campus COVID infection rates.”

Barker told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas masks and social distancing limited the college experience for students and staff. By requiring vaccines for students and staff the university felt they could better return the campus to pre-pandemic life with in-person learning, sporting events and social gatherings.

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(credit: CBS)

“I got used to (wearing a mask), and it became habit after a while,” said Ian Champion, a junior at CSU. “If everyone has to get a vaccine anyways, and most people are going to be vaccinated, then the masks really are unnecessary.”

Because the busses that transport students from off-campus housing to the CSU campus are operated by an entity not owned by CSU, masks will still be required on those rides. Also, CSU encourages any visitor who has not been vaccinated to still wear a mask on campus.

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“(The lifting of the mask mandate) was kind of a sigh of relief. I was pretty excited about it,” Champion said.

Dillon Thomas