WEST LAFAYETTTE, Ind. (WANE) Purdue University will make masks optional at its West Lafayette campus starting Friday. The school made the announcement Wednesday and attributed the decision to falling COVID-19 case numbers and the the fact the severity of cases remains low.

The only exceptions to the mask optional policy are for instructional, research and health care settings as well as where contractually required. Purdue athletic venues will be mask optional places.

Purdue Fort Wayne still requires all students, staff, faculty, and visitors—regardless of vaccination status—to wear face masks indoors while on campus. The mandate currently remains in effect through Friday, March 18.