Neosho County Community College: NCCC Announces Masks Optional Except in Classrooms
Official Statement from NCCC President, Dr. Brian Inbody

Beginning Saturday, October 2, 2021, the wearing of masks will be optional with the exception of classrooms and laboratories at all college-controlled facilities including the Chanute and Ottawa campuses.  While face coverings will be optional in common areas such as the gym, residence halls, business office, and hallways, masks will still be required in classrooms and laboratories.  The college will remain in Level 4 of its COVID Response plan.  Level 4 allows for visitors to use college facilities and in-person classes at full capacity. 

“The health and safety of our students and employees remains the chief concern of the college during these trying times,” said Dr. Brian Inbody, President.  “The college is experiencing fewer active positive cases week after week.  This allows us make masks optional in many areas indoors and out,” Inbody said.  “However, many of our classes and labs do not allow for adequate social distancing so we must, for the time being, require masks in these spaces.”

Inbody and the Core Emergency Response Team of the college made this decision in consultation with local health professionals. 

“We are very happy to see the positivity rates going down and the vaccination rates going up for our college employees and students.  However, we will be monitoring infection rates and hospital capacities weekly to make the best determination for the college community.” Inbody said.  “It may be necessary to return to requiring masks indoors as the situation changes.”

Community groups are still welcome to hold meetings and luncheons on campus and fans will be welcome to sporting events.  Concessions will be available at home athletic competitions. 

Inbody hopes to keep masks optional as long as possible and expand this option into classrooms and labs later.  “We anticipate that as the situation further stabilizes and improves, we will be able to remove the mask requirement from the classrooms as well.”

Vaccinations are the way forward, Inbody stated. “We encourage our students, employees, as well as members of the community to consider becoming vaccinated in order to slow the spread of this deadly disease and allow us to get back to normalcy,” Inbody said. “That’s why we have provided spring scholarships for students who agree to be vaccinated and stipends for employees.”

Updated Fall Guides as well as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and other resources are available on the college website at https://www.neosho.edu/COVID19News.

Current Chanute Campus Level:  Level Four
Current Ottawa Campus Level:  Level Four
View a PDF of the college's entire Level plans

Fall 2021 Guide for Neosho Panthers

Chanute Area Contact Information: www.neosho.edu/chanutecontacts.aspx
Ottawa Area Contact Information: www.neosho.edu/ottawacontacts.aspx

Students and employees are asked to continue to pay attention to email and notifications for updates.


COVID Protocol FAQs

Updated 10-01-2021


  • Do I have to wear a mask on campus?
    • It depends. Beginning Saturday, October 2, 2021 masks are optional indoors except in classrooms and labs. This mask decision will be reviewed frequently. Masks are not required while eating. Additionally, masks are not required outdoors.
  • Masks with Valves?
    • Per CDC guidelines, masks with breathable valves are not recommended.
  • Is social distancing still required on campus?
    • Social distancing is recommended where possible, but not required. This is both for indoors and outdoors.
  • Will I be asked to self-isolate after exposure to COVID-19 if I am fully vaccinated?
    • If you are exposed to a known positive and are considered fully vaccinated, you are exempt from self-isolating as long as you are asymptomatic. You are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after your final vaccination shot. If you have any questions about your specific scenario, please submit a COVID reporting form.
  • When can I return to campus after self-isolating or testing positive?
    • NCCC follows the isolation guidance from CDC; however you should work with your local health department to determine this answer for you.
  • Under what conditions will I be self-isolated?
    • NCCC follows the isolation guidance from CDC; however you should work with your local health department to determine this answer for you.
  • Where can I self-isolate?
    • If you are a resident hall student, we prefer that you self-isolate at home, however for those unable to do so, special accommodations may be arranged for you on campus.
  • What does asymptomatic mean?
    • This means “without symptoms”.  With COVID, it is possible to test positive and spread the infection to others without having active symptoms.
  • How does COVID spread?
    • Per CDC transmission information, the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks (CDC).  Please refer to CDC’s website for more information.
  • What if I test positive or know someone who has tested positive?
  • Can we go home for the weekend or travel out of town?
    • The college has no restrictions on student’s personal travel.  Some college programs or activities may have specific restrictions.
  • How do I get tested?
  • How do I get vaccinated?
    • Vaccination resources are available; however, you may wish to consult with your medical professional before being vaccinated.
  • If I am notified during a face-to-face class that I need to self-isolate, what do I do?
    • Please leave class immediately with minimal disruption and contact your instructor electronically as soon as possible with the dates of your self-isolation.
  • If I have recovered from COVID-19 do I have to self-isolate if I am exposed again?
    • Follow the recommendations of your health provider and/or county health official.  Per KDHE guidelines, the college is not requiring self-isolation for those who are within six months of recovering from COVID-19 or from being fully vaccinated.
  • If I have recovered from COVID-19 or have been fully vaccinated, do I have to participate in random COVID testing in the residence halls?
    • If you are within six months of recovering from COVID-19 or being fully vaccinated, you will not be selected to participate in random COVID testing.
  • Can I eat around other people or in public areas?
    • This is up to your discretion.  Having your mask off while eating increases the chance of exposure to the Coronavirus.  If you are not vaccinated, you may consider avoiding others while eating. 
  • What about the booster shot for the vaccines?
    • NCCC is monitoring the CDC and KDHE guidance, as well as the information from the vaccine makers. Currently there is no official guidance on this subject. When there is clear guidance, we will follow it.
  • Is the college limiting travel?
    • No; however, when traveling for the college, please check the KDHE Travel Guidelines. You may be required to isolate upon return, if traveling to a hotspot as determined by KDHE. Travelers and supervisors should check the KDHE Travel Guidelines the day before travel is scheduled and again upon return.
  • Can I wear a face shield instead of a mask?
    • The CDC does not recommend the use of face shields. Students wishing to seek an accommodation for the mask requirement should follow the regular accommodations process by contacting either Kerrie Coomes or Dr. Marie Gardner. Employees seeking an accommodation for the mask requirement should contact Human Resources. The accommodations process requires a letter or documentation from a medical professional.
  • Are we required to follow NCCC mask rules while on a NCCC-sponsored trip?
    • Yes. While traveling, groups need to follow NCCC rules, unless the college rules are less stringent than those of the destination. For instance, if the college is “mask recommended” and the destination is “mask required,” NCCC groups should comply with the mask requirement. Conversely, if the college is “mask required” and the destination is “mask recommended,” NCCC groups should comply with the NCCC mask requirement.



If you have questions that you’d like to see answered here, please submit them to COVID-19@neosho.edu.