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Many Maine universities still requiring masks on campus, despite easing guidelines

Last week, the Maine CDC announced masks are no longer needed when outside unless in large groups, but many colleges will still require masks

MAINE, USA — As the state eases its outdoor mask restrictions, many of Maine's colleges and universities say they will continue to require masks on campus.

At Bates and Bowdoin, the mask guidelines will remain the same, even if students and staff are outdoors. At the University of Maine System, masks are still required when indoors and masks and, "face coverings are recommended but not required when outdoors in circumstances that make physical distancing difficult to maintain," according to the university system's website

The U.S. CDC said Tuesday that fully vaccinated Americans don't need to wear face coverings outdoors unless they're in big crowds. Those who are unvaccinated can go outside without masks in some cases as well. 

The CDC says that fully vaccinated or not, people do not have to wear masks outdoors when they walk, bike, or run alone or with members of their household. They can also go maskless in small outdoor gatherings with fully vaccinated people.

In Maine, however, Mills said the outdoor mask requirement will be lifted for all Mainers, but Mills still encourages people to get vaccinated. The change is effective immediately.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.