COVID-19 Fall Update
Dear Community Members,
For the second year in a row, New England College began an academic year while contending with a global pandemic that continues to evolve. Throughout this time of COVID-19, our community has taken seriously its commitment to offering students the opportunity to live and learn on our campuses in Henniker and Manchester as safely and responsibly as possible while doing all we can to preserve the face-to-face college experience. I continue to be very proud of the success we have enjoyed and your efforts in support of keeping our community safe.
As students began to return to campus this Fall, concerns about the Delta Variant of COVID-19 forced us to modify our plans for the start of term. In addition to the mandatory vaccines, we added a temporary month-long mask requirement while we welcomed back students from across the globe. Over the past four weeks, our COVID Taskforce has paid careful attention to transmission rates on our campuses in Henniker and Manchester. I am very pleased to say your vigilance throughout this first month has paid off. We have had very few positive cases with no members of the community requiring significant medical attention.
As a result of your hard work, I am pleased to say we will update our COVID protocols as follows:
- For fully vaccinated students, the mask mandate is being changed to require masks in classrooms and offices only. Students are not required to wear masks when outdoors or indoors when social distancing can be achieved.
- Unvaccinated community members are still required to wear masks.
These changes will be in effect until the close of business on Thursday, September 30, 2021. We will continue to monitor COVID transmission rates in our community and, of course, should circumstances require, we will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure a safe and healthy living and learning environment.
I know many members of our community will continue to wear masks at all times. We must each do what is appropriate for our own personal circumstances and I want to lend my support to those who continue to wear their masks. I ask that you support that decision as well.
Moving forward, we will continue to monitor the pandemic and make adjustments to our policies as needed. Please continue to be vigilant – practice social distancing when possible, wash your hands regularly, and monitor your own health for symptoms.
I wish you health, happiness, and success in your work. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.
All the very best,
Michele Perkins, President