Welcome Back to Campus: An Important COVID-19 Update
To the COM community,
College of the Mainland (COM) is excited to welcome our students back to campus for Fall 2021. While we are looking forward to welcoming the COM family back for what is sure to be a phenomenal semester, I understand that with this excitement some may feel some uneasiness right now as we prepare to return to campus in a little more than a week.
As many of us are aware, there has been a rapid increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Galveston County and many of our surrounding communities due to the Delta variant. That said, some apprehension is certainly understandable at this time. I want to reassure you that COM continues to work diligently to ensure that we provide a safe and successful learning experience for every student this school year.
Returning to Campus
We recognize that for many of our students, the best place to learn is in a traditional classroom setting. While most of our instruction will return to a face-to-face environment this fall, COM continues to offer a variety of learning formats, both online and hybrid, to ensure that we provide learning options to meet the evolving needs of our students during this unique time.
Sanitization stations will remain present throughout campus for frequent handwashing and self-hygiene practices. We ask that everyone continue to distance to the extent possible. As a reminder, individuals who are experiencing any signs or symptoms of illness are asked to stay home as a measure to prevent the spread of the virus.
Face Masks and Vaccinations
When a student or faculty member contracts the virus and has to quarantine, that absence is disruptive to classes and adds more stressors to the learning experience. By practicing proactive measures, we all contribute to a successful classroom experience.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends wearing a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others. As of August 13, Galveston County has been identified as a high transmission area.
In accordance with Governor Abbott’s executive order GA-38, COM cannot require face masks at this time. However, we encourage the use of face masks when indoors and in crowded public areas.
The COVID-19 vaccination is a free, safe and effective way to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus to maintain your own health and to help protect others in the community. Data shows that vaccination remains the best intervention for reliable protection.
We strongly encourage those who are able to get vaccinated to do so, as soon as possible. And to those of you who are already vaccinated, thank you! To find upcoming vaccine opportunities near you, visit www.vaccines.gov.
While I trust that we all will take proper precautions to safeguard ourselves from the virus, I want to remind our community to stay vigilant and exercise personal accountability in ensuring the health and safety of our campus community.
With the safety of the COM community our top priority, College of the Mainland will continue to work with local, state and federal health officials to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Please stay informed by monitoring www.com.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and resources.
I believe in the strength and resilience of our community and am confident that together we will come back stronger than ever. I look forward to a safe and healthy return to campus this fall!
Dr. Warren Nichols
President, College of the Mainland