As was announced several months ago, Northwest Mississippi Community College faculty and staff have been eagerly anticipating the start of the new fall semester and the return of traditional college life to campus. The return to a traditional collegiate environment remains the college’s highest goal. However, due to the current and ever-evolving public health circumstances, this goal is not a practical or prudent option at this time.
The surge in COVID-19 cases across the state, in relation to the Delta variant, requires that Northwest continue to keep the safety of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront of our minds and continues to be at the forefront of our actions.
The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) has recently issued the Public Health Guidance for College and University Settings, which states, “Consistent with CDC Public Health Guidance, MSDH directs that masks be worn universally indoors for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status. Due to the prevalence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, masks must be worn in all indoor facilities to mitigate the risk of infection at this time.”
Therefore, Northwest will temporarily require masks to be worn for indoor activities at all of its locations. The college will regularly evaluate the need to continue this mask mandate with the anticipation that this requirement will be for a short period of time. We, along with our fellow higher education institutions in Mississippi, believe this measure will be helpful for us to continue moving forward with campus classes and events.
Northwest is a close-knit family, and the college wishes nothing more than to continue to maintain a healthy and safe institution. College leaders recognize that after the last year of successfully mitigating health and safety policies for our campuses that there is not one single solution that resolves all issues. Our college community will get through these circumstances and return to a traditional open campus environment together. Detailed, updated protocols will be distributed early next week. Please monitor the COVID page on our website for updates.
Wash Up! Mask Up! Ranger Up!