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SCC to require masks when social distancing is not possible

Due to the increase in cases and upon consultation with local health officials, Stanly Community College will now require students, faculty and staff to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, when social distancing is not possible.

SCC President Dr. John Enamait, in a video to staff sent Tuesday, said the decision “was not made lightly,” but current conditions necessitate such a move. He said it was also made by him alone.

Enamait noted that the Stanly’s percent positive rate of 13.9 percent places the county in the “Substantial to High Risk” category, according to the CDC. As long as the county continues to stay in either category, masks will be required for people who cannot distance, he said.

If someone is working alone in their office or if people can maintain at least six feet of social distance with others, masks will not be required.

“Folks, I know COVID fatigue is real and tough to manage,” he said. “But we must keep our guard up. We must continue to do our part to protect ourselves and those we love.”

With regards to vaccines, Enamait said it still is up to the individual, but he acknowledged that Stanly’s low vaccination rate — only 33 percent of residents are fully vaccinated — has “certainly contributed to the rapid escalation of the delta variant.”

“If you still haven’t received the vaccine, I urge you to seriously consider it,” he said.

With SCC’s new mask requirement, the college joins Pfeiffer University, which continues to require masks to be worn by all students and staff in all shared public spaces.

The Stanly County Board of Education also voted last week to require students and teachers to wear masks indoors as long as the county’s percent positive rate exceeds 7.9 percent.

Enamait ended his video by saying that even though “this year will be somewhat different than we envisioned” the college “continues to do great things and is positioned well for the future.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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