SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota's six public universities will no longer require people to wear masks beginning next week, the state Board of Regents announced Tuesday.

Regents last July mandated that masks be worn in all public indoor spaces on campuses, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic showed steep growth in South Dakota and other Midwest states. At the suggestion of college presidents, facemasks will be optional starting on Monday.

“Our system has continuously responded to changing circumstances caused by the pandemic,” Board of Regents executive director and CEO Brian Maher said. “With vaccines now widely available, our institutions are eager to adjust as we look forward to the fall semester.”

Administrators will continue to monitor conditions and make “the best decisions possible” with information available to them, Maher said.

Regents announced earlier that campus operations should return to normal in the fall.