Polk State updates mask recommendation

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

Polk State College has updated its mask policy to strongly recommend that all individuals, vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks or cloth face coverings while indoors on campus. This is effective immediately and follows recent changes in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

To reduce the risk of being infected with the COVID-19 Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that vaccinated individuals wear masks indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. As of July 29, 2021, Polk County and Florida were noted as areas of substantial or high transmission.

On Monday, August 2, 2021, Polk State will enter Phase III of its Return to Campus Plan, which has been updated to reflect this latest change. In Phase III, the majority of services will return to campus and more face-to-face class options will be available for the Fall 2021 Semester, which starts on August 16. Signage will be in place to remind students, employees, and visitors of the current mask policy.

The following resources will reopen on campus for in-person services per CDC guidance and the Return to Campus Plan. More information about locations and hours is available on the College’s COVID-19 webpage. Additionally, all services remain available in remote formats.

  • Libraries
  • Teaching Learning Computing Centers (TLCCs)
  • Computer labs
  • Student centers
  • Bookstores
  • Vending services
  • Gyms

Consistent with guidance from the CDC, the state, and local health metrics, individuals are expected to assume personal responsibility for their health and safety regarding masking and it is strongly recommended for all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while indoors.

Students should look at the fall 2021 schedule and select the course formats – face-to-face, hybrid, or online — that work best for their schedules and personal comfort. Unvaccinated students who wish to take face-to-face courses and maintain 6 feet of social distance in classroom or lab settings will be asked to work with their instructors for special seating arrangements or accommodations.

Students, faculty, and staff will continue to have access to, and be encouraged to use, technology tools including remote tutoring, video conferencing, email, and web chat to facilitate their work and learning.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 global public health in March 2020, Polk State College has remained open and operational, with all services offered remotely. In August 2020, the College moved to Phase II of its Return to Campus Plan and increased the number of courses offered in hybrid and in-person formats, with all administrators and select staff returning to campus. The transition to Phase III continues the measured, deliberate process of safely reopening all Polk State campuses and providing the most effective teaching and learning services for students, faculty, and staff.

More information about Phase III of the College’s Return to Campus Plan and answers to frequently asked questions are available on Polk State’s COVID-19 webpage.