Southeast Missouri State University is cutting back on face-covering requirements on campus. The requirements were reduced on Monday. In a letter to the campus community on Thursday, Southeast university officials announced the university will be modifying the requirement and plans to finish the semester with this change in effect. For the rest of the semester face coverings will no longer be required in residence halls, the student recreation center, office spaces, dining areas, and common areas on campus, such as lobbies, hallways and lounges Face coverings will still be required through the end of the semester in the following areas: indoor instructional spaces during classes or labs, campus shuttles pursuant to federal law, the University School for Young Children consistent with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended guidance and health-related spaces, including the Campus Health Clinic operated by SoutheastHEALTH. In the letter, officials said they believe “adjusting the face covering requirement is appropriate” as regional statistics concerning COVID-19 have improved over the past month, and the university has seen a decline in the number of active cases on campus and the number of people in quarantine or isolation. In addition, the on-campus vaccination rate has climbed to 64 percent , which is 6 percentage points away from the university’s goal of 70%.Signs on campus will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect the modifications officials said, and guidance for the spring semester will be provided no later than January 10, 2021.