Wayne Community College will enter another academic year taking precautions against the spread of COVID-19.
For the fall 2021 semester, the college will provide a variety of instruction modalities including face-to-face, hybrid, and online options, and will return to requiring face coverings for students, employees, and visitors on campus, the college announced Tuesday.
Effective immediately, face coverings must be worn indoors at the college. They do not have to be worn outdoors if individuals can maintain a six-foot separation.
WCC has encouraged social distancing and hygiene practices since the beginning of the pandemic. The college has maintained the rigorous sanitation routine it implemented at that time.
Even after the college discontinued efforts such as screening, its position was that masks were an option for those who wanted to wear them.
“We’ve got to keep the campus as protected this fall as possible so we can go into the spring semester strong,” said Interim President Patty Pfeiffer. “Our Pandemic Response Team considered the impact on instruction and the campus as a whole.”
The Wayne Board of Commissioners and Wayne County Board of Education also voted on mask directives on Aug. 17.
Their mandates, along with climbing positive case data and hospitalization projections from Wayne UNC Health Care and the Delta variant’s high transmissibility, factored into the college’s declaration.
“We’re asking our students, faculty, and staff to protect themselves as much as possible,” Pfeiffer said. “This is for them as well as our community.”
The college is working to educate its employees and students about the virus and ways to protect themselves. It will host a vaccine clinic in a few weeks.
WCC has taken a proactive approach to protecting the health and safety of all of its constituencies throughout the pandemic, said Pfeiffer. “We have been contemplating this decision for a while and we know that it is the right thing to do now,” she said.