Trio Of Western Mass. Colleges Announce Indefinite Mask Mandates

Students at university during coronavirus pandemic

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BOSTON (WBZNewsRadio) - The masks are here to stay at a trio of Colleges in Western Massachusetts.

Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and Hampshire College have all announced they'll be extending their mask mandates indefinitely, despite some having prior plans to drop mandates.

“I am sorry to say that because of the relatively high confirmed COVID-19 case counts on campus (approximately 50 per week since the start of the semester) we will need to continue our indoor mask mandate until further notice,” Mt. Holyoke’s president, Beverly Daniel Tatum, said in a letter to students and faculty last month.

The school had been set to drop its masking requirement last Friday.

Amherst College is considering joining the group and has announced it will be holding votes in order to determine a masking policy moving forward. The school will conduct anonymous surveys in each class or lab and will implement the outcome of the surveys beginning Monday, Oct. 17. The school says if a single person in the class, including the instructor, wants to continue masking up, then masks will be required for the entire class.

The college also says for certain circumstances, for example, following Thanksgiving break, the school will require a stricter masking protocol for "an appropriate duration" to avoid any potential surge that comes with traveling.

WBZ's Jim MacKay (@JimMacKayOnAir) reports

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