University of Idaho President C. Scott Green responds to questions during an interview on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, at the Idaho Press offices in Nampa.

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Masks will be required inside all buildings on the University of Idaho campus for another three weeks.

University President Scott Green announced an extension of the university’s face covering policy on Monday, saying the decision came after discussions with local healthcare leaders.

“COVID-19 infection rates are slowly trending down across the country — and in Idaho — although hospitalizations and deaths remain at a concerning level,” Green stated.

The mandate will be up for consideration again when students leave for fall break. According to an email from Green, a decision will be communicated by Nov. 22.

The mask requirement applies to all university offices, buildings and common areas on campus, including those located in dormitories. Face coverings can be removed in private rooms and shared office workspaces where more than 6 feet of distancing can be maintained.

For updates on the policy, Green instructed students, faculty and staff to “be sure to check your email.”

Nearby Whitman County, where Washington State University is located, on Tuesday reported 24 new COVID-19 cases with no new deaths or hospitalizations.

The county has seen 5,614 total cases, 79 deaths and 219 hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

No new deaths were reported for Latah County, where the University of Idaho is located. The county added seven new COVID-19 cases.

The latest cases include three people between ages 18-29, one person in their 50s, two in their 60s and one in their 70s.

Latah County has 4,261 confirmed cases, 305 probable cases and 36 deaths since the pandemic began.

This article first published in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

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