Group of UW-Madison students rally against campus mask mandate

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 7:25 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 3, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A group of University of Wisconsin-Madison students is calling on the school to end its mask mandate.

The students gathered outside the Wisconsin State Capitol Friday to protest the mandate, arguing that the school’s high rate of vaccination among staff and students makes masking up unnecessary.

Among students, UW numbers show 91% of the ones who will attend in-person classes on campus have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 88% are fully vaccinated. Students who plan to live on campus reported an even higher vaccination rate. The university reports having documentation from 92% of University Housing residents showing they completed their series. That figure climbs to 94% when including those who have received at least one dose.

Organizers also argue UW-Madison issued guidance without required permission from lawmakers. UW system officials have said they have the authority to issue COVID-19 policies on its campuses to keep students and staff safe.

UW-Madison announced it would be implementing a mask mandate, regardless of vaccination status, on Aug. 3. Officials blamed the need for a mandate on the rise of the Delta COVID-19 variant and skyrocketing number of COVID-19 cases.

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