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Mask mandate ends for Connecticut state colleges and universities

Masking is now optional for all schools in CSCU

CONNECTICUT, USA — After two years of mandating masks, college students will now be able to smell the spring air mask free. 

As of today, masking is optional at all 17  CSCU schools. They are also ending other COVID-19 protocols that were implemented two years ago, one being weekly COVID-19 tests and contact tracing tests. 

Rapid tests will still be available for people who they think may have come in contact with the virus. If a student or staff member does test positive for COVID-19, the universities are asking them to self-report online. 

RELATED: UConn lifts classroom mask mandate staring April 4

Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) is one of the schools where the mask mandate is being lifted and some students say it will feel nice to get back to some normalcy. 

"It's time to give it a break, it's nice to talk without a mask," said Eric Brosnan, a senior at CCSU, it's easy to breathe and some kids will probably like coming to class a little bit more not having to wear a mask. 

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CCSU president said cases have been extremely low and that it is time to give people the option of wearing a mask. With guidelines loosening the university still wants to be prepared in case there is another outbreak. 

RELATED: Poll: Americans ease up on masks, virus safeguards

"We saw a downtrend that was significant," said CCSU President Zulma Toro. "We have things in place in case there is an uptick in cases but I think with the new CDC guidance and the state, it was the right time for us to change course." 

Starting this summer COVID-19 vaccines will no longer be mandatory for staff and students. Along with in-person classes and events for the summer semester. 

The positivity rate across Connecticut has risen from 3.68 percent to 3.35 percent. For now, students and staff at CCSU and the other colleges and universities can enjoy slowly getting back to normal and seeing faces again. 

Lindsey Kane is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at Lkane@fox61.com. Follow her on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

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