Dixie State University to Require Masks Through End of Semester

Last week, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill set to take effect on April 10 that revokes the statewide mask mandate. On the campus of Dixie State University in St. George, Utah, however, wearing masks will still be required through the end of the Spring 2021 semester.

“Class conduct and instruction will stay the same through the end of the semester,” said University President Richard “Biff” Williams. He said that the health of faculty and students remains his top priority and that members of his cabinet are working with the university’s COVID-19 Task Force to figure out a course of action.

According to the Dixie Sun News, masks will not be required outdoors or when students can properly socially distance, but they may be required during outdoor student events.

The university’s executive director of events services and risk management, Josh Thayn, explains that masks have had a “high success rate” of preventing COVID-19’s spread so far. Given the relatively short amount of time between the lifting of the mandate and the end of the semester, he sees the easiest course of action to be keeping the policy in place. He also notes that the Utah System of Higher Education and K-12 public schools are also maintaining the current procedure.

“Continuing the current mask policy and other mitigating measures will allow for more individuals to receive their vaccines and will help keep our campus community safe, and moving in the right direction, to help us return to normal more quickly,” he said.

Students who decline to wear masks can opt for remote learning opportunities through live-streamed classes. Students not wearing masks on campus can be asked to leave class, denied entry into on-campus buildings, and even escorted off campus.

Dixie State University is currently exploring the possibility of opening to full capacity—without masks or social distancing requirements—in time for the Fall 2021 semester.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com


  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now