State Technical College of Missouri has lifted its mask requirements on campus.
Masks became optional on campus this week. The decision was based on a successful school year where no classes had to transition online due to COVID-19, according to a State Tech news release. Another reason for the decision is the limited number of students on campus during the summer semester.
“Ultimately, we did not have the outbreaks we were concerned might have happened and had a fairly regular academic year,” State Tech President Shawn Strong said in the news release.
With record-breaking enrollment numbers, State Tech was not able to allow social distancing in most classes this school year, but it did require masks.
Transitioning to a mask-optional campus has been a phased process. In April, State Tech ended mask restrictions in its Activity Center and became more relaxed in enforcing masks on campus. Since then, active cases have dropped, according to the news release.
Masks and social distancing will not be required campus-wide, but individual faculty members can still require students wear masks in their specific classrooms.
State Tech also stopped monitoring COVID-19 cases May 1. On April 30, there was only one active case on campus with no close contacts, according to its website.
State Tech is now in “Scenario 2” of its COVID-19 plan, which “essentially means everything returns to normal but gives individual faculty some latitude to require social distancing in classrooms,” Strong said in the news release.
In Scenario 2, the risk of COVID-19 exposure is minimal and classes will operate normally, but large group congregations are not recommended, according to the State Tech website.
State Tech will not limit group activities or require social distancing, but it still “reserves the right to do so,” according to the news release.
The college had an outdoor, mask-optional graduation ceremony Saturday with 747 graduates — a record number.
All State Tech employees have had the opportunity to be vaccinated, and most students will have had the opportunity when they come back in the fall. State Tech recommends but does not require vaccination on campus, according to the news release.
Originally Appeared On: https://www.newstribune.com/news/local/story/2021/may/05/state-technical-college-of-missouri-lifts-mask-requirements-on-campus/869929/