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Northwest College students, faculty will have to wear masks

POWELL (WNE) — Northwest College students, faculty, and staff will be required to wear masks when they come back to campus in the fall, according to a reopening plan the board of trustees approved Monday.

The plan outlines procedures under various scenarios of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the areas of operations at the campus, including academics, residence life, dining, athletics, administration, events and gatherings, and community services.

Built into the plan is the ability to adjust restrictions in response to changing conditions. So if there was an outbreak, for example, the college could move more instruction to online formats.

“It represents hours and hours of thoughtful planning and discussion — cussing and discussing maybe a little — because we had to wrestle with all the things in this plan,” NWC President Stefani Hicswa said at the meeting.

Under the current recommended scenario for the fall, referred to in the plan as a “partial soft opening,” classroom instruction will take place in face-to-face and online formats.

Besides wearing masks, students participating in on-campus instruction will be required to maintain distancing. The plan says that will be determined on a case by case basis, depending on the size of the class, number of participants, and needs of the instruction.

Dean of Student Learning Greg Thomas, a member of the incident command team that coordinated the college’s pandemic response, said the team toured all the campus spaces to determine what challenges they’d face in maintaining social distancing.