College to Require Masks Indoors
East Central College is implementing new COVID-19 protocols, including indoor masking, in light of high rates of transmission in Franklin and Phelps counties.
ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the college will follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines beginning Monday, Aug. 9, and into the Fall 2021 semester.
“These measures are being taken to ensure the safest environment for students, employees and guests, and with a goal of mitigating the spread of COVID-19 — including the Delta variant,” Dr. Bauer said.
Under the new protocols, masks will be required indoors for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. That includes in classrooms, labs, meeting spaces, halls and any other indoor setting.
Those who are unvaccinated will need to follow quarantine guidelines in the event of a close contact. Fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine following a close contact.
“We are constantly monitoring local conditions and suggested protocols,” Dr. Bauer said. “I am hopeful these restrictions can be eased once local conditions improve and vaccination rates increase.”
Masks are not required outdoors, but social distancing should be maintained during outdoor events.
The faculty and students in health care programs are required to follow vaccination requirements of the clinical sites.
The public will be allowed to attend events such as theatre productions, concerts, athletics and other offerings, with masks required and social distancing enforced.
Café Central will continue to operate, but on a carry-out basis only. There will be no seating in the cafeteria.
According to Dr. Bauer, face mask protocols will be reviewed monthly, regardless of changes in local conditions or CDC guidelines.
ECC policies also will be reviewed at any time if there are significant and sustained changes in local conditions, or upon subsequent changes to CDC guidelines that are applicable to colleges/universities or indoor settings.
ECC is offering incentives to students and employees to get vaccinated, with the intent of slowing the spread and preventing serious illness from COVID-19.
“We continue to strongly encourage vaccination of employees and students as the most effective tool for combating COVID,” Dr. Bauer commented.
Incentive information and area vaccine availability is located at www.eastcentral.edu/covid/. ECC will host Franklin County Health Department staff who will be giving vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) in The Learning Center on the following dates:
• August 18 – 1–4 p.m.
• August 31 – 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
• September 1 – Noon–4 p.m.
• September 29 – Noon–4 p.m.