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Monday, October 02, 2023

Santa Fe College to go maskless

At Santa Fe College, people can now be maskless outside and will soon not have to wear masks indoors

Graphic by Shelby Cotta
Graphic by Shelby Cotta

Soon, people will be allowed to sit in classrooms on Santa Fe College’s campus without a mask.

As of May 21, Santa Fe College President Paul Broadie II announced masks are no longer required to be worn outdoors throughout the campus, according to a May 24 press release

While the college still requires masks indoors, the beginning of Summer B semester — June 28 — will mark a transition to optional face coverings for inside spaces on campus, according to the release. The college will resume full-scale instruction and operations, along with relaxed social distancing requirements in Fall, according to the release.

The updates reflect the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s May 13 announcement, which recommends fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or practice social distancing.

Student Body President Trevor Mathisen said he is nervous about the college not tracking the vaccination status of students and employees but believes people will make the right decisions and be safe. 

“I would just encourage people that aren’t vaccinated and are social distancing and wearing a mask to just respect those that are and try to be understanding and try to at least be safe — if not for themselves then for the people around them,” Mathisen said.

People who have not been vaccinated are recommended to still wear a mask, the college’s communications manager Jay Anderson wrote in an email.

Santa Fe College does not require its students, faculty or staff to regularly test for COVID-19 or receive COVID-19 vaccines, Anderson wrote.

Some students have reported concerns to the college’s Student Senate about unvaccinated people walking around campus maskless, Student Senate President Kane Ahern said.

“That does draw a little bit of concern because, as you already know, how can you tell the difference between someone who’s vaccinated and who’s not fully vaccinated?” he said.

However, Ahern said he is not worried and believes students, faculty and staff will be respectful of each other. 

Santa Fe College’s Student Senate plans to continue meeting over Zoom for the Summer, Ahern said. 

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The college’s mask update did not change any athletics protocols, Santa Fe College’s new director of athletics, Greg McVey, said. Restrictions in the Spring prohibited fans at indoor events and set limited attendance for outside games, Anderson wrote.

However, McVey said he expects changes may be made to align with the college’s updating guidelines once sports seasons begin again in Fall. 

Contact Antonia LaRocca at Follow her on Twitter @antoniarlarocca.

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Antonia LaRocca

Antonia LaRocca is a staff writer at The Alligator.

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