When classes go back into session at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield... students, faculty, and staff will have the option of wearing a face covering or not wearing one, according to a statement released today by College President, Ellen Kennedy.

Masks will be optional when classes resume on March 21st...

Classes resume at BCC on March 21st, and when they do the updated policy will be "mask optional." Kennedy said today in an email to students and staff that the school's COVID-19 policies will continue to be in place with fully vaccinated status required for in-person learning but that being “mask optional” can support a learning environment that many have been longing for again. She acknowledged that some individuals will decide to continue to wear their masks and that they will be supported in their choice to do so.

Message from BCC President, Ellen Kennedy:

Good afternoon,

Since the pandemic began, we have been faithful adherents to guidelines and information from the CDC and state, regional, and local health organizations.  Recently, many of these entities have ceased requiring or recommending the wearing of masks. We have been carefully studying regional trends and have been pleased to see the rapid drop in positive cases. “Mask Optional” is now very much the norm.  

After careful review, and with strong research and support, we are lifting mandatory masking on our campus. Please see the release from the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges. 

Please respect and support those who choose to continue wearing masks and using other tools to provide enhanced protection.  The pandemic is not over, and we may determine a need to reinstitute masking.  

 

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Local statistics support the new policy...

Kennedy included a chart in her email (see below) comparing positivity rates for Feb 10th through March 3rd including some of the surrounding towns but she said that all are listed on the website for anyone to view.

14-day Positivity Statistics for Berkshire County Per 100,000 Residents:

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Kennedy also said that in addition to the drop in Covid cases over the past month, BMC has seen a significant drop in hospitalized patients. Also listed are the overall state rates to show that MA has minimal Covid cases at this time. This information can be found at:

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-interactive-data-dashboard-

 

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