To: NCMC Campus Community
From: David Roland Finley, Ph.D., president
The Health Department of Northwest Michigan (HDNWMI) announced earlier today that they are rescinding the K-12 school mask order effective February 18, 2022, due to the decline in COVID-19 cases across the region and available tools and strategies for mitigation.
In response, North Central will make masking optional inside college buildings. This change will be effective at 12:01 a.m. on February 18, 2022.
Further, food and drink may once again be consumed in all college buildings. Masking in individual classrooms may not be mandated by the instructor. Circumstances where temporary masking on campus will be required are limited to exposure to or recovery from COVID-19 or an approved accommodation.
The professionals at HDNWMI are the local public health experts, and it has been North Central’s practice to follow their guidance throughout the pandemic, as a significant percentage of our students fall into this age range. As stated by Lisa Peacock in the news release, “A public health order is only a temporary strategy, (and) only exercised when other methods of protecting the public’s health haven’t been possible or effective.” HDNWMI still urges and recommends the wearing of masks in indoor settings to decrease the likelihood of the spread of COVID-19.
Do know that we will support you should you choose to facemask regularly, facemask situationally, or not facemask at all. As a reminder, N95 masks, as well as a variety of other mask types, are available in the Borra Learning Center's Administrative Office for your use.
We will continue to utilize the Health Ticket system and report the number of COVID-positive cases in our college community monthly. Should another significant uptick in cases occur, this reporting frequency will be re-evaluated. All are encouraged to monitor these updates and make a best decision with respect to masking. Again, we ask individuals to stay home when sick or exposed and submit a health ticket.
If you have any questions about masking or have other COVID-related concerns, please submit a health ticket. We will respond promptly.