NSU sets mask mandate, urges students to get vaccinated


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University will require masks and facial coverings indoors for faculty, staff, students and visitors for the Fall 2021 semester to help mitigate the surge of COVID-19 cases in this region and across Louisiana.

The mask mandate for all individuals age 5 and up, which reflects a statewide directive issued Monday by Gov. John Bel Edwards, will go into effect statewide Wednesday, Aug. 4.

Individuals on all of NSU’s campuses regardless of their vaccination status are required to begin masking immediately. The statewide mandate will remain in effect until Sept. 1 when the governor will reevaluate the order.

NSU administrators also strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated if they have not done so already. Louisiana’s vaccination rate is one the lowest in the nation, and the rate for college students is reportedly less than 30 percent.

“It is critical for students and others to be vaccinated if we hope to return to normalcy at our colleges and universities,” said NSU Interim President Dr. Marcus Jones.  “State and national health agencies continue to emphasize that increased vaccination rates are the most important and effective factor in controlling COVID, and we must work diligently toward that goal.”

NSU’s fall semester will begin Aug. 16.

Updates on Northwestern State’s policies related to COVID-19 will be posted at https://www.nsula.edu/return-to-campus/.

The Louisiana Department of Health provides updated COVID-19 information at https://ldh.la.gov/.