Bridgewater College Lifts Mask Mandate

College Has 90% Vaccination Rate


Brooke DiCicco

First-years Rachael Meyers and Daphne Daymude work on homework while wearing masks before the mask mandate is lifted. “To me it’s like a relief. There’s multiple times that I’ve forgotten it and had to go back to my room. It’s more of a convenience thing,” said Daymude.

Brooke DiCicco, Photography Manager

Bridgewater, Va .- On Mar. 1, Bridgewater College faculty, staff and students received an email from the COVID operations team about an updated mask policy. As of 5 p.m. on Mar. 11, the school will no longer be requiring masks.

The updated masking policy follows a changed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Effective February 25, 2022, CDC is exercising its enforcement discretion to not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. CDC is making this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level,” stated the CDC on their website.

The college has required masks since the return of students in Aug. 2020 when the college offered in-person or virtual learning.

“With a vaccination rate above 90% for students and for employees, and according to our local COVID-19 community level measure, we are now in a position to relax our indoor masking requirement,” stated the Covid pperations email. “Just as we recognize that our community teaches and learns best in an in-person environment, we know that teaching and learning is enhanced when people can communicate without masks.”

With the change, the college will still require masks indoors and continue with their tri-weekly COVID testing practice for unvaccinated individuals. 

Current BC sophomores and first-years have not had the experience of college while being maskless.

“I’m not really into anything political, but it will be nice to be able to see everyone in class. It’s kind of hard to communicate with masks, so that’ll be nice,” said sophomore Lydia Hart.

“It’s so exciting, but I’m also a little nervous to see everyone’s faces for the first time. It will be like there’s something missing,” said first-year Rachael Meyers.

Some students prefer waiting to see how the number of campus COVID-19 cases change after the mandate is lifted. 

“I’m personally going to keep my mask on and watch the numbers to see how we do at least a week after the fact. It’s just more of a personal preference,” said senior Jalissa White-Jones.

“I have no idea yet to be honest, because I’m so used to wearing one now. You just get kind of sucked into doing the same thing every day it becomes routine,” said senior Madison Dunbar.