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Mask mandate for Germanna and other state community colleges

Starting Monday, Germanna Community College will institute an indoor mask requirement, Germanna said in a statement.  At the Virginia Community College System’s direction, Germanna President Janet Gullickson informed faculty and staff of the policy.

“Due to the potent and spreading Delta variant of COVID, the Chancellor is announcing a universal indoor mask mandate for VCCS institutions,” Gullickson wrote college personnel. “To comply, Germanna will be requiring masks for all employees, students, vendors and guests, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Monday, Aug. 9.”

Germanna’s fall semester begins Aug. 23 with a full slate of in-person and online classes.

“At Germanna, we always put the well-being of not only our students, faculty and staff–but also our communities–first,” Gullickson told Central Virginia newspapers. “We, along with the other 22 institutions in the Virginia Community College System, will adhere to CDC as well as state and local health department guidelines in an effort to check the spread of the Delta variant, with its increased level of potential transmission.”

In her email to Germanna faculty and staff, the college chief noted that recent studies have indicated that even vaccinated people can carry a high viral load of the Delta variant and, consequently, spread it.

“How do we stop this disease from once again taking lives or health from us? “ Gullickson wrote. “GET VACCINATED SO THE DISEASE CAN’T SPREAD!”

In a letter to Virginia Community College System presidents Wednesday, Virginia Community College System Chancellor Glenn Dubois wrote, “Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we have repeatedly stated our shared commitment to the safety of our students, faculty, and staff and to make safety-related decisions based on the best guidance of healthcare professionals. The rise of the virus’s easily transmitted Delta variant is requiring us, once again, to reconsider what is necessary to continue to pursue our academic mission as safely as possible.

“To that end, recent CDC guidance calls for: (1) layered prevention strategies at America’s colleges and universities to combat COVID-19, and (2) for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission,” Dubois wrote.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view

“All of Virginia’s community colleges serve localities that have, in recent days, shown substantial or high transmission rates,” he added. “In keeping with CDC guidance and out of respect for the health and safety of individuals on our campuses, I am implementing an indoor mask mandate for public indoor spaces at our colleges.

“I call on you to implement this mandate in a manner that best matches your college, including allowing for instructors to remove masks when instructing students from a safe distance or from behind a plexiglass barrier.”

Germanna has campuses in Spotsylvana County and Locust Grove and centers in Stafford, Culpeper and Fredericksburg’s Central Park.

 

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