COVID-19 Update: New Mask Protocols


Dear members of the Kenyon College community,

The end of every academic year is full of milestones. This year, we have reached another. Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines that permit fully vaccinated individuals to resume most activities without wearing a mask. Earlier this week, Governor DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will lift most pandemic health orders on June 2. And today I am pleased to share that, effective immediately, a mask will no longer be required outdoors on Kenyon’s campus for people who are fully vaccinated. 

For the first time in more than a year, we are able to greet one another with a smile on Middle Path. And we are so excited that graduates who are vaccinated (and their vaccinated guests) will be able to participate in Commencement without wearing a mask.

All other protocols — masking indoors, distancing, restrictions on visitors, limited event attendance, etc. — will remain in place until at least June 2. Please remember that masking continues to be an important way to limit breakthrough infection and mitigate risk for those unable to be vaccinated. 

Finally, given the rate of vaccination among students in residence — nearly 98 percent of the more than 1,100 students on campus who have shared their status are fully or partially vaccinated — we are suspending our weekly testing program and the Cox Center will test only symptomatic students and those who require tests for travel. Today’s update of the COVID-19 dashboard — which, in another milestone, shows no positive test results this week, no active cases and no students in quarantine — will be our last.

I am grateful for the extraordinary commitment this community has shown to safeguard one another’s health — first by embracing and upholding public health guidelines, then by adopting the vaccine in widespread numbers. It has been a privilege to partner with you this past year, and a sincere pleasure to celebrate our collective success.


Sean Decatur