After several years of enduring the COVID-19 pandemic, Coppin State University is taking a bold step to show the progress and accountability that it has made in the fight against the coronavirus. As of Monday March 7th, the HBCU will no longer require students or staff to wear face masks on campus! Get the full story from CBS Baltimore staff below.

Credit: Matthew Kirschner Photography

Face masks will be optional on the Coppin State University campus starting March 7, president Dr. Anthony L. Jenkins said Friday.

“Managing personal health and well-being always involves responsibility and accountability on the part of individuals,” said Jenkins. “Members of the community who wish to continue wearing masks on campus to safeguard their personal safety are fully supported and encouraged to do so. At this time, there is no need for Coppin State University to mandate mask-wearing on campus.”

Face coverings will still be required in the health center and athletic training room, and for anyone who is being tested for COVID-19.

Testing will still be required the week after Spring Break, which runs from March 20-25. The university’s COVID-19 Task Force will review the results and provide an update on campus testing for the rest of the semester, the president said.

Since the start of the pandemic, Jenkins said, the university has reported an average positivity rate at or below the city and surrounding counties.

On Feb. 14, the University System of Maryland said individual institutions could modify their COVID-19 protocols.

Baltimore City’s indoor mask mandate expired on March 1. At a press conference last month announcing the decision, Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said the citywide positivity rate had dropped by 77%.

Earlier this week, Baltimore City Public Schools said its requirementwould end at all campuses on March 14, and in the district’s central office on March 7.