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.