NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

NECC turns to mask optional

Northern Essex President Lane Glenn announced on March 9, that the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges will be transitioning into mask optional environments. As of March 21, both Northern Essex campuses became mask optional.

According to the statement on the Northern Essex Coronavirus updates and information page, the COVID Response Team said that “the shift will be in accordance with current local, state and federal guidance.”

The website also said  “the school will respond accordingly should conditions change.”

Later on in the statement, it does mention that if students still wish to wear an N-95 or wish to receive a free COVID test kit, students can fill out a PPE request form on the NECC website.

I interviewed a couple of NECC students to get their reaction about the news.

“I think that mask optional is a good idea because some people aren’t able to wear masks because of a condition,” said Miabella D’ambrosio, a freshman at Northern Essex. “Some people also just don’t like them but I do think there should be guidelines for big events.”

I also asked if we should still be concerned with COVID despite heading in the right direction.

“I think we will always be concerned about COVID but I also think that as time goes on it will become less and less scary,” D’ambrosio said.

I also asked Kaily Burke, who has been a NECC student since 2018 for her thoughts.

“It’s hard to say what’s the right direction because we never know what’s next,” Burke said.

“More variants will come. However I know we’ve calculated the risk at NECC.”

Everyone on campus is required to be vaccinated.

“I’ve seen a lot more masks on campus in the last week than I still do in the grocery store,” Burke added.

While students are still required to get the COVID 19 vaccines, students, faculty, and teachers can all take a breather and choose to wear a mask if they wish.