Masks optional at Clemson University, no social distancing

School will be open at full capacity, masks will be required in medical facilities, public transportation

Clemson University will have no widespread mask requirement and no physical distancing as classes will resume at full capacity, the school announced this week.

Clemson’s announcement comes a day after the University of South Carolina rolled back plans to require masks, The Greenville News reported.

The rules are a significant departure from those in place when Clemson began the 2020 school year with online classes due to the rising cases of COVID-19. This year, Clemson plans to start in-person and on time when classes begin Aug. 18.

A view of Tillman Hall on the campus of Clemson University on June 10, 2020, in Clemson, S.C. 

A view of Tillman Hall on the campus of Clemson University on June 10, 2020, in Clemson, S.C.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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In a statement Wednesday, university President Jim Clements said Clemson wasn’t able to make some protective measures due to state laws.

"While we all had hoped this pandemic would be behind us when we arrived in August, it is clear the Delta variant has changed the dynamics and heightened our need for continued diligence to protect our students, faculty and staff," Clements said in the statement.

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All the university’s buildings will be run at full capacity, officials said.

Though face masks won’t be required for most of the campus, they will be required in medical facilities and on public transportation.