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GRCC makes face coverings optional for students, employees

GRCC is changing its campus face covering mandate, transitioning to a new phase of COVID-19 protocols.
Credit: Photography by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography
Commencement Ceremony Friday April 30, 2021 In Ford Fieldhouse on the campus of GRCC. © Photography by Steve Jessmore, Steve Jessmore Photography

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) announced Tuesday that the school will be dropping their mask mandate for students, employees and community members.

COVID-19 cases in Kent and Ottawa counties are continuing to drop after the omicron variant surge in January and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has officially moved the counties out of the high-risk category.

GRCC started requiring masks on campus in the summer of 2021 after the CDC had previously added the counties to the high-risk category. 

“We are not declaring victory over COVID. Not yet,” GRCC President Bill Pink said. “But we are in a better place, and we are entering a different phase, and adapting as we have done since March 2020. We will continue to work with the authorities and monitor the data and conditions.”

Masks will still be required while riding public transportation due to continued federal mask mandates. This includes the Sneden Shuttle bus route that connects the Main and DeVos campuses.

“There are many people who will choose to continue wearing face coverings, and it is important for us to respect their decisions, and the reasons behind them,” Pink said. “We have been resilient. We’ve shown each other grace and patience throughout this pandemic, and will continue to do so.”

Other COVID policies will remain in place at GRCC including social distancing, increased air filtration and plastic glass panels at some workstations.

Classrooms will also continue to remain at 75% capacity and classes will continue to be offered in a variety of formats.

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