Nebraska colleges, universities offering differing fall plans for masks, vaccines

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Two post-secondary institutions in Nebraska, one public and one private, are instituting different fall guidelines regarding masks and vaccines.

The University of Nebraska system is not requiring COVID-19 vaccines, and those who are not vaccinated are not required to wear masks.

The university announced those changes to their protocols for students, faculty and staff on Friday.

Those on campus who are vaccinated are not required to wear face masks, but the university encourages them to do so. Everyone on campus who is unvaccinated is also encouraged, but not required to wear masks.

However, the university of Nebraska Medical Center is requiring everyone to wear masks inside, regardless of vaccination status. Like the rest of the University of Nebraska system, vaccinations are strongly recommended, but not required, for UNMC.

No one in the University of Nebraska system is required to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Meanwhile, Hastings College, a private institution in central Nebraska, will start the semester with a mask requirement on campus.

College officials say staff and faculty would be asked to wear masks while indoors on campus, at least for the first two weeks of classes.

Though they're required in most places inside, students would not be required to wear them inside of dorm rooms.

After the first block of courses ends August 31st, the college says they plan to decide at that time what approach they'll take next.

Doane, Nebraska Wesleyan and Creighton each announced plans earlier this week requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, with the possibility of exemptions for medical or religious reasons in some cases.