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COVID-19 Update 06/25/20

June 25, 2020: Face Covering/Mask Requirement to Take Effect June 29

 

Dear Students and Employees,

 

In recent town hall meetings, I have discussed the need to follow the guidelines set forth by health officials to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This is a responsibility we all share to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy.

 

Over the past few weeks, our state and local community has seen a significant rise in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, especially among those age 21-30. As a result, Tri-County is taking the necessary step of requiring every person on a TCTC campus or at a TCTC learning center to wear a face covering/mask. This new requirement will take effect on Monday, June 29 and is further outlined later in this email.

 

How we behave now, both on campus and in our community, will dictate the college experience in the fall. We all very much want life to return to “normal,” but that cannot happen if we don’t take the necessary steps now to protect ourselves and others.

 

I ask for your commitment in adhering to this policy and doing what you can to protect yourself and those around you. In addition to wearing a face covering/mask, I ask that you continue to maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times and wash your hands often.

 

Following these basic steps will keep you safe and our college open. Thank you in advance for your support and adherence to this policy.

 

In your service,


Galen DeHay, PhD
President

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Wearing of Face Coverings/Masks during Reopen Phases I, II, III 
Every person is required to wear a face covering/mask when on a TCTC campus or at a TCTC learning center. In general, face coverings/masks are required to be worn in areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

• Classrooms*
• Labs*
• Lobbies 
• Study areas
• Restrooms
• Lounges/cafes/breakrooms 
• Offices where employees, students and/or the public interact

*Additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required in some cases. If such a requirement exists, it will be communicated to students by their instructor.

 

Location exemptions
The wearing of a face covering/mask may be advisable, but is not required when:

• Alone in a personal or company vehicle
• Alone in a private, individual office, or in an individual work space when not interacting with others
• Outdoors so long as six feet of physical distancing is maintained
• Eating or drinking

 

Persons not required to wear face coverings/masks
An exception to wearing a face covering/mask will be made for those with a documented medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering/mask.

• Students seeking an exemption should complete the COVID-19 Students Issues and Help form located online at tctc.edu/coronavirus
• Employees seeking exemption should contact Human Resources.

As they are able, persons exempted from wearing face coverings/masks are encouraged and expected to maintain physical distance from others. If unable to maintain physical distance, such persons are encouraged to use alternative means of protection, such as face shields, if safe to use.

 

Definition
“Face covering/mask” means a clean cloth, fabric, or other soft or permeable material, without holes, that covers both the mouth and nose, including, but not limited to, surgical masks, respirators, face shields, handmade masks, bandanas, neck gaiters, scarves, or wraps made up of tightly woven fabric such as denim or cotton.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), when worn properly, face coverings/masks should:

• Cover the mouth and nose
• Fit snuggly against the sides of the face, the bridge of the nose, and the chin
• Not be removed, lowered below the nose or to the neck, expose the mouth, or be pushed up to the forehead

 

Effective date
This policy shall take effect on Monday, June 29, 2020, and shall remain in effect until it is deemed no longer necessary by TCTC President Galen DeHay.