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In Reversal, Georgia Universities To Now Mandate Masks

Joshua L. Jones/Athens Banner-Herald via AP

Georgia’s 26 public universities and colleges will mandate campus-wide mask wearing after the state university system reversed itself on Monday. 

The University System of Georgia had previously told schools they should “strongly encourage” students and others to wear masks. But system leaders had said Georgia's 26 universities couldn’t mandate face coverings for their 330,000 students despite concerns about COVID-19 transmission. Masks became a point of contention because all the universities, at the behest of regents, are planning face-to-face instruction beginning in August. Many faculty and employees demanded masks be mandated to slow virus transmission. Administrators now say all faculty, staff, students and visitors must wear masks inside buildings beginning July 15.