Home
Prairie State College Mask Protocol

Prairie State College Mask Protocol


Last Updated: August 30, 2021

Currently, regardless of vaccination status, all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus must wear a mask.

Wearing a facemask that covers the mouth and nose can help reduce the transmission of the virus responsible for COVID-19 and its variants. A significant number of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms and those who eventually develop symptoms can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. Droplets and aerosols can contain the COVID-19 virus, and remain suspended in the environment for hours. Therefore, the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity (e.g., speaking, coughing, sneezing, etc.). Face coverings can reduce both the emission of virus when worn by an infectious person and reduce the uptake of virus when worn by a person in proximity to an infectious person.¹

Due to the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, on July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their masking guidelines, recommending that fully vaccinated people wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission. Based on the CDC COVID Data Tracker, Cook County currently is in the “substantial transmission” category, and Will County is in the "high transmission" category.³

The following applies to all students, staff, faculty, and visitors while on any Prairie State College campus or property.

Individuals who are fully vaccinated⁴, partially vaccinated, or unvaccinated for COVID-19 are required to wear a facemask covering their mouth and nose while inside campus buildings. Disposable face masks are available at the main entrance for anyone who needs one. A face shield can be worn with a face covering, but not as an alternative.

Exceptions to this protocol are as follows:

  1. When actively engaged in eating or drinking, however, social distancing should be maintained during these times.
  2. When alone in a private office, workspace, or other similar work area that allows for social distancing. 
  3. While outside on College property when social distancing is possible.

If Someone Refuses to Comply with PSC’s Mask Protocol

Staff and Faculty


If a member of the staff or faculty declines or fails to wear a facemask, the  supervisor/dean is responsible for addressing the issue. Staff and faculty should refrain from addressing noncompliance or perceived noncompliance directly with other staff/faculty, and should instead report issues to their supervisor/dean.

Students


If a student declines or fails to wear a facemask as required, they should be asked to comply with the protocol, or leave the campus immediately. If they fail to comply or refuse to leave the campus, the PSC Campus Police should be called to handle the situation, and the student should be reported to the Dean of Student Development at fsimpkins@prairiestate.edu.

If the situation occurs in a classroom or other academic setting, it is considered a classroom management issue, and the faculty member should remind the student of the requirement and give the student a chance to comply. If the student refuses to comply, the faculty member should ask the student to leave the classroom or academic setting immediately, and should report the student to the Dean of Student Development at fsimpkins@prairiestate.edu.. If the student refuses to leave the classroom or academic setting, the PSC Campus Police should be called to handle the situation, and the student should be reported to the Dean of Student Development at fsimpkins@prairiestate.edu.

Visitors/Members of the Public


If a visitor or member of the public declines or fails to wear a facemask as required, they should be asked to comply with the protocol, or leave the campus immediately. If they fail to comply or refuse to leave the campus, the PSC Campus Police should be called to handle the situation.

________________________________________________________________
References

¹ Ueki H, Furusawa Y, Iwatsuki-Horimoto K, et al. Effectiveness of Face Masks in Preventing Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2. mSphere 2020; 5: e00637-20.

² https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
Effective: August 4, 2021