To support its priority of in-person learning and the safety of the college community, Northeast Community College will 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 earlier to recommend that Northeast return to requiring face masks in all college buildings. It will not be required in outdoor spaces. The requirement became effective Monday, 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 effective 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.
In addition to its main campus in Norfolk, Northeast Community College operates extended campuses in O’Neill, South Sioux City, and West Point.