03/07/2022
Neosho County Community College: NCCC Announces Masks Optional
Official Statement from NCCC President, Dr. Brian Inbody

Beginning Monday, March 7, 2022 at 5:00pm, the wearing of masks will be optional at all college-controlled facilities including the Chanute and Ottawa campuses.  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.  Formerly, masks were optional indoors with the exception of classrooms and laboratories.  Today’s action lifts that exception and makes masks optional everywhere indoors.

“Our own internal data along with data from our service area and recent guidance from the CDC on transmission rates allows this change in protocol,” said Dr. Brian Inbody, President of Neosho County Community College.  “We have seen low active positive cases over the past few weeks, often reporting only one or two cases, or zero.”  Inbody and the Core Emergency Response Team (CERT) of the college made this decision in consultation with local health professionals. 

Inbody states that protections are still in place.  “The college continues to require random testing of unvaccinated residence hall students and required reporting of those who are positive so that we can better monitor the situation and react,” Inbody stated.  “We continue to ask students, employees and visitors to monitor their health and not come to campus sick.  We also recommend that if you suspect you might have COVID that you get tested.” Other precautions are still in place as well, according to Inbody.  “We have installed air purifiers on all of our HVAC systems, which helps not only with COVID but other infectious diseases and allergens.  And we will keep our hand sanitation stations out.  Clean hands are always a good idea.” 

However, Inbody stated that this might not be over.  “We thought COVID might be waning during the summer of 2021, then here came Delta.  When Delta started to go down Omicron brought us the highest COVID-positive numbers of the entire two-year pandemic.  That’s when I caught COVID personally.  But thanks to my vaccinations and booster it felt like a light head cold.  Many have counted COVID out before only to have it come roaring back.  We are going to continue to monitor the situation and take whatever precautions are needed to keep our students, visitors and employees safe.” 

Inbody is grateful to all who have helped the college combat COVID.  “We are very close to the two-year anniversary of the first meeting of CERT.  I am so grateful to the members of the team who have had the awesome and terrible responsibility of trying to keep the college moving forward through a pandemic.  Thanks also go to our Board of Trustees for their support as we tried to navigate through an ever-changing landscape.  Our community partners have been great to work with such as Beckie Manahan at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center and our local health departments in our service area.“

But most of the thanks Inbody reserved for NCCC employees and students. “I could not be more proud of our faculty, staff and administrators for their adaptation skills and patience as we moved through this terrible time.  I’m also in awe of our students who carried on with their many learning achievements despite all of the protocols put in place to keep them safe.  Everyone pulled together to keep the mission of NCCC moving forward and for that I am forever grateful.”

Spring 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

Spring 2022 Guide for Neosho Panthers


Chanute Area Contact Information
Ottawa Area Contact Information


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

 

COVID Protocol FAQs

Updated 03-07-2022

 

  • Do I have to wear a mask on campus?
    • Masks are optional indoors for all. This mask decision will be reviewed frequently.
  • What kind of masks do you recommend?
    • Per CDC guidelines, we recommend those who opt to wear a mask, find one that fits you well and that you will wear consistently. CDC recommends using an N95 or KN95 mask, if possible. However, short of this, the CDC recommends wearing a surgical mask under a cloth mask. 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. If you have any questions about your specific scenario, please submit a COVID reporting form.
  • What does fully vaccinated mean?
    • As of January 4, 2022, individuals are considered fully vaccinated if any of the  following apply:
      • Vaccinated and Boosted
      • Completed the primary series of the Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
      • Completed the primary series of the Pfizer vaccine within the last 6 months
      • Completed the primary series of the J & J vaccine within the last 2 months
  • When can I return to campus after self-isolating or testing positive?
    • NCCC follows the isolation guidance from CDC, KDHE, and the local health departments; 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, KDHE, and the local health departments; 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 CDC guidelines, the college is not requiring self-isolation for those who are within ninety days 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 ninety days 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. 
  • 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 optional” 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 optional,” 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.