No mask, what does that mean?

EvCC updates mask rules so what does it mean for campus goers? Students speak on the decision.

Across Washington, mask mandates are being lifted and EvCC went forward with the decision to lift their mask mandate, confirming as of March 19 they are voluntary. This decision comes with new Washington State guidelines from the Snohomish County health district, as well as updated CDC COVID-19 guidelines.

Many have concerns of safety as the mask mandate has been lifted although, as stated in its address, EvCC will continue to require its students to submit a vaccine attestation, following the guidelines instated by Governor Jay Inslee. As well as taking precautions, masks will be required in certain circumstances even after March 19.

Lewis was weary at first to return to normal (Curtesy of Ryan Lewis)

EvCC Interim, Dr. Darrel L. Cain, stated that if one tests positive for COVID-19, in order to return to work or school after a 5-day isolation period, they must wear a well-fitting mask for days 6-10 after their symptom onset or positive test result. This also applies to anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Also, students working in healthcare settings are required to wear masks at all times.

Some students were cautious about the decision when asked if they believed the masked mandate was lifted too soon. “I was cautious for the first few weeks the mandate dropped because I was hearing others still getting covid… they would be fully vaccinated as well so it is really a matter of if you feel comfortable with the situation. Because inevitably we still are going to have cases rising… and we are just going to have to live with the fact that COVID is not going anywhere anytime soon,” says Ryan Lewis.

Chandran is very hopeful that things are returning to normal (Courtasy of Chehayle Chandran)

Some students doubt the feeling of ‘normal’ will ever return. Student Chehayle Chandran states, “I have some hope in the fact that things are finally starting to die down and things are going back to ‘somewhat’ normal, but there is still a lot of work to do.” Lewis also expresses “Yes and no. I think that some things have been sorely affected by COVID where they will never be the same, and then some things have not…”

Barragan feels that it’s refreshing to be back to our new normal (Curtesy of Bianca Barragan)

Additionally, some students are feeling a sense of relief as the mask mandate has been lifted. “I don’t think we can ever go back to ‘normal.’ It’s been two years of wearing masks and honestly, it feels a little weird seeing everyone without them. Of course, this is all so new, so we can’t expect to get used to it right away, but I don’t mind. It’s refreshing to know that things are slowly progressing,” said Bianca Barragan

Overall, EvCC is taking many precautions to maintain health and safety across campus, and students are getting used to the new mask mandate on campus after years of being so cautious with masks. These changes are going to be new for everyone on campus, so let’s continue to be respectful of others’ decision of their usage of masks and, as always, Let’s Go Trojans!




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