Face masks will be required at Illinois Valley Community College beginning Monday, Aug. 2, and will continue for the time being into the fall semester.
IVCC President Jerry Corcoran announced Wednesday masks will be required for all students, faculty, staff and visitors in classrooms, labs and common areas. The mandate applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“We will use every tool we have to safeguard students, staff and the public from COVID-19 and its variants,” Corcoran said in a press release.
“Masks have proven highly-effective in protecting people from the virus. Universal masking also sets the same expectations for everyone and lifts the burden of faculty having to monitor each students’ vaccination status,” Corcoran said.
The decision was made with the backing of the college’s academic deans. Mask-wearing exceptions in the classroom can only be approved by Vice President for Academic Affairs Deborah Anderson.
On July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended even vaccinated people return to mask-wearing in public indoor spaces in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant is surging. CDC also released strict recommendations calling for kindergarten through 12th grade students to wear masks while attending school.
Corcoran said he is proud of the college’s response to the pandemic.
“Vaccinations work,” he said. “That’s why we’ve partnered with La Salle County Health Department to offer mass-vaccination clinics on campus.”
IVCC will again issue self-verification forms whereby employees and students pledge to stay home if experiencing COVID-like symptoms and Shield Illinois will provide rapid-testing results.
“Adding face masks to the plan is another layer of protection,” Corcoran said. “Our response to every hurdle we’ve encountered has been impressive. I am proud of our employees’ resilience and professionalism.”
IVCC’s fall semester begins Wednesday, Aug. 18. Vaccinations are not required for students to attend IVCC.