While walking through The Towers ll lobby, residents see signs plastered all over the walls, inside elevators and on the door windows stating, “Please help stop the spread! Wear a mask! For the protection of yourself, our staff and guests and in accordance with local guidance, we ask you to wear a mask upon using our amenities.”
Notably, this statement isn’t just for visitors. It is also required for residents to wear a mask in the building when outside of their apartments.
In many states, since the start of COVID-19, Americans have adapted to a new lifestyle where masks are now required for entry into stores, restaurants, schools, gas stations and more.
For students returning to Rexburg, masks were not immediately enforced in some complexes until COVID-19 rates started to spike drastically. Since then, students are now required to wear masks in their housing complexes.
The school sent out an official notice stating, “BYU-Idaho is deeply troubled by accounts of individuals who have intentionally exposed themselves or others to COVID-19, with the hope of getting the disease and being paid for plasma that contains COVID-19 antibodies. The university condemns this behavior.“
This led to certain apartment complexes requiring students and visitors to now wear a mask while on the premises.
“We are supportive of whatever is protective of the students and we are strongly encouraging masks to be worn in our complex,” said Trevor Deal, a junior studying business marketing and an employee of The Lodge. “We want to keep Rexburg open and are trying to abide by the CDC and Idaho guidelines.
Kyley Miller, a senior studying biomedical science and an assistant manager at The Towers II explained how she thinks the mandate was helpful for everyone.
“I think it’s super smart, to be honest,” Miller said. “I like that they have it mandated on campus and now in complexes whenever residents have visitors over. I know it’s not super comfortable or great to wear, but your home is your safe place. If you know of someone who is visiting another resident and they are not wearing masks, please let management know immediately.”
Although many students aren’t thrilled about the idea of having to wear a mask when having visitors in their complex, many are happy to comply.
“I am tired of wearing masks,” said Victoria Chase, a junior studying nursing. “I’m all for keeping everyone safe and if that means wearing a mask while I have visitors at my apartment complex, I will do it. But everyone needs to comply now so that we don’t have to continue wearing masks in future semesters.”