FSC updates its mask mandate policy

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Harry Solomon

Florida Southern College announced on Nov. 8 that masks are no longer required inside on-campus residences or dining halls. 

This policy has been updated after FSC “crossed the 70.93 percent vaccination rate on our campus against COVID-19,” according to an email sent by the FSCares team.

Before the semester started, Florida Southern updated its guidelines in the fall of this year in accordance with some of the guidelines recommended by the CDC and the ACHA (American College Health Association). 

“The ACHA recognizes that comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way for institutions of higher education (IHEs) to return to a safe, robust on-campus experience for students in fall semester 2021,” according to the ACHA website. 

Therefore, where state law and available resources allow, ACHA recommends COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all on-campus college and university students for fall semester 2021, in accordance with the IHE’s (Institution of Higher Education) normal exemption practices, including exemptions for medical contraindications. 

The CDC also recommends that a robust testing program would help to limit the spread of COVID-19 on college and university campuses.

Last year, Florida Southern reserved the entire Lake Morton village as quarantine space, while using the Warren Willis Camp in Lake County as overflow space. This year, the school has an extremely limited quarantine space reserved for students, only at the Willis camp. However, students have been reportedly sent to on-campus houses and Lake Morton apartments if they are vaccinated and have tested positive.  

This space is only reserved for vaccinated students who are already at high risk. Students who are not vaccinated at all, or are at normal risk, are advised to have a quarantine plan in place. The school has a cleaning system in place as well that it states is in accordance with CDC guidelines. 

The cleaning procedures also state that the school has upgraded the air filtration systems for all of the buildings on campus by using anti-microbial filters. The FSCares pledge outlines a list of requirements and guidelines that all students are required to adhere to. The first pledge is that students must adhere to wearing masks over their nose and mouth at all times in the classroom.

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