Face Masks Will Be Required at GCCC

Garden City Community College, which is set to reopen its front doors to public traffic on July 6, will require employees, students, and visitors to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth while on campus.

Because face masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings, GCCC will require their use until further notice and provide them to students, employees, or visitors who cannot not supply their own.

This campus-wide initiative follows today’s state executive order signed today by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.  

“We want all Busters to return to a healthy and safe campus this fall. Our goal is not only to reopen our doors, but to stay open,” GCCC President Dr. Ryan Ruda said. “Doing so depends on all Busters working together and adhering to public health protocol.”

Visitors to campus are encouraged to supply their own masks, preferably cloth coverings.

Students and employees are also encouraged to supply their own cloth masks; however, disposable masks will be made available to those who cannot supply their own.

Face masks will be required in all workspaces, classrooms, offices, and other common areas across campus, especially where social distancing (six feet between individuals) cannot be maintained.

Masks will not be required in the following scenarios:

  • Employees who are working alone in their own enclosed offices
  • Students who are alone or with their roommates in the residence halls
  • Individuals who are outside and social-distanced from others
  • Individuals with recognized disabilities or who require accommodations that prevent them from wearing a face mask
  • Individuals participating in activities in which a face mask cannot be worn, or would prohibit respiratory function (e.g., eating, drinking, playing a musical instrument, participating in athletics, etc.)

Employees with recognized disabilities who cannot wear face coverings should contact their immediate supervisor or Human Resources for further guidance.

Similarly, students with recognized disabilities who require accommodation should contact accommodations@gcccks.edu.

For a full list of state-allowed exceptions, see today’s executive order.

While students will not be required to wear masks inside their dorm rooms, they will be strongly encouraged to do so, particularly when visitors are present.

In addition to face masks, GCCC is adopting a multitude of safety and health policies and procedures to keep Busters safe on campus.

Enhanced cleaning and sanitization across campus, a modified academic calendar and alternative classroom formats, self-health monitoring tools, and installation of protective equipment in meeting areas are just some of the key ways GCCC plans to maintain a healthy and safe campus for the remainder of this summer and fall.

“We have a responsibility to our both our campus community and to our community at large to help keep everyone safe,” Dr. Ruda said. “So, as we continue to prepare for on-ground instruction this fall, we will continue to monitor, to assess, and to make adjustments as needed.”

To view the latest version of GCCC’s comprehensive reopening policies and procedures, visit https://www.gcccks.edu/covid-19/reopening_plan.aspx.

The novel coronavirus spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice (e.g., signing, shouting, etc.), according to the Centers for Disease Control.

These droplets can land in the mouths and noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

To reduce this spread, the CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

For more information about how cloth masks help slow the spread of COVID-19, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.