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COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mandatory masks will be a thing of the past on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, but students at other MU campuses across the state may still be required to mask up.

The university said it would allow the mask mandate at its main campus to expire after Friday, Oct. 15.

In a letter, university leaders said they felt the change could be made because the number of COVID-19 cases have remained low since the beginning of the school year. They say it is also encouraging that hospitals are keeping up with patients needs now, and more people have been vaccinated in recent weeks.

Based on the improving conditions, the University of Missouri said it will no longer require masks to be worn indoors. Instead, beginning Saturday it will recommend everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks while indoors.

Mizzou said the change in guidance will align MU with the latest Boone County public health advisory and CDC guidance. Students at other University of Missouri campuses, including University of Missouri-Kansas City, will need to follow local public health guidance. That means UMKC staff and students will be required to wear masks while indoors until at least early next month.

Certain programs, including MU Health Care, the School of Medicine and certain facilities in the College of Veterinary Medicine, may continue to have requirements that are specific to only those programs.

The University of Missouri continues to encourage everyone to get fully vaccinated against the virus. If you have not received a COVID-19 vaccine, you can schedule an appointment at multiple locations, including MU Health Care. Flu shot clinics for students will also offer COVID-19 vaccine options.