PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - When classes start in September at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, students and staffers will not be required to wear masks, unlike at the state's three public universities.
ASU, NAU and UArizona all have mask mandates, requiring students and staff members to wear face covering at certain indoor areas on campus.
GCU spokesman Bob Romantic says that the private, Christian university recommends anyone who is not vaccinated to wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible. However, the he says the university does not mandate vaccines, testing or face coverings in most campus settings for students, faculty or staff.
Romantic says GCU highly encourages students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and will have the vaccine available in its Health and Wellness Clinic for any student who wants one.
"GCU is different than many university environments in that its private campus is largely enclosed, lessening daily interactions with the community that exist at many public institutions," Romantic says. "During the final six weeks of the spring semester, GCU finished with 5 or fewer active cases of COVID-19 for each of the final six weeks of the semester. This summer, as the Delta variant became more prevalent, GCU averaged 1 active COVID case per week on campus – none with serious symptoms."
Romantic says GCU will continue to monitor COVID-19 data, and that university officials are confiden.t they can quickly adjust campus operations, if needed
The only exceptions to the vaccine, testing and face covering policies are:
- Students who are involved in field work or clinical placements are subject to whatever health and safety regulations exist at those sites.
- Some students in programs with higher contact rates, such as NCAA athletics, may be required to undergo random COVID testing.
- Students who are symptomatic or in quarantine will be asked to take a COVID test.
- During one-on-one meetings in enclosed spaces, such as faculty office hours, it will be up to the discretion of the faculty member whether to ask students to wear face coverings (Zoom meetings will also be available).
- Face coverings are required in clinical settings on campus, such as the Health and Wellness Clinic, and in nursing laboratory environments where face coverings and shields are used in order to replicate real-world health settings in which those are utilized.