Topeka, Kan. – This afternoon, Washburn University sent the following message to students, faculty and staff:

To the Washburn Community:

     First, we want to thank everyone for their work in helping Washburn in dealing with the pandemic.  Covid-19 has been a real challenge and we have needed everyone’s cooperation in keeping our community safe.

    Second, we want to emphasize that we are not all the way through the pandemic.  Variants are still popping up and parts of the Midwest (including some counties in Kansas) are still hot spots.

    With that in mind, we have studied the recent change in recommendations about masking from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as guidance from the Shawnee County Health Department. 

    The CDC has updated their metrics and says that people who live in areas of low to medium transmission rates do not need to wear masks unless they are at “increased risk.”  Shawnee County is currently in the medium category.

     Since we have carefully followed the CDC’s recommendations from the start of the pandemic, we are updating the masking policy for Washburn University and Washburn Tech as follows:

- Beginning Friday, March 4, masks will no longer be required in most spaces on campus. Masks will continue to be required for those in Days 6-10 of quarantine.  In addition, those who feel more comfortable wearing masks may certainly do so and “mask shaming” in any form will not be tolerated.
- Some locations on campus will still require masking upon entry. Some will continue to require due to health concerns – such as the Student Health Clinic – and others may be required due to a particular program’s requirement or due to mandates by an outside governing body such as the NCAA.
- Locations which require masking will display Washburn-provided signage at each entrance to their facility.
- The University still has a modest supply of KN95 masks which are available in Student Health.
- Individual faculty and academic staff members with questions should consult with their respective supervisor, or department chair, or dean as appropriate to your academic unit.
- Likewise, any staff members in administrative and service departments with questions should consult their respective supervisor.
- We will follow the quarantine and isolation recommendations by the CDC and/or Shawnee County as we have from the beginning of the pandemic.
- The University will also continue to review its COVID policies.


     A reminder – we hope that this marks a true step forward in our journey with the effects of the pandemic.  But, a substantial increase in infections or transmission rate in the county or in the Washburn community could force us to reverse this decision.  Therefore, we hope everyone will remain vigilant through Spring Break and – if you haven’t already done so – get vaccinated or get boosted.

Steering Committee


For further information, contact:
Patrick M. Early, APR
Director of Public Relations
Telephone: (785) 670-1711
Cell: (717) 385-1119
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