Northeast Community College to require masks during fall semester

NORFOLK, Neb. – Northeast Community College said Friday that it remains committed to maintaining in-person learning, also noting in a press release that it require face masks be worn in all buildings on all of its campuses.

“Our students want to be here in person,” said Leah Barrett college president. “I have asked employees to respectfully follow this requirement and to politely ask others to adhere to it as well.”

The new mandate comes after the College’s COVID-19 Recovery Team met last week to recommend that Northeast return to requiring face masks in all college buildings. It will not be required in outdoor spaces. The requirement is effective beginning Mon., Aug. 23 – the first day of fall classes.

“The Recovery Team has met regularly and has put in much research as to what should be done for the best interests of the College as a whole,” Barrett said. “I support their recommendation and sincerely thank them for their service. This has been an extremely heavy lift on their part.”

Barrett said with vaccines available to combat the virus, Northeast was able to lift the mask mandate this past spring with everyone believing things were getting closer to lessening the effects of the pandemic. Unfortunately, she said, that is not happening.

“Health authorities point out that the Delta variant is more contagious, stronger, reproduces quickly, and infects both the immunized and unimmunized. They say the best prevention to keep it from spreading are the vaccines, face masks and washing of hands frequently.”

Northeast will be joining other colleges and universities in Nebraska returning to fall classes with mask requirements – two of which are community colleges.

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