Mitchell Technical College announced yesterday that it will require face masks for all students, staff and visitors to campus.

The requirement goes into effect Aug. 3.

“We can’t take our eyes off the goal of getting back on campus this fall with our students, while minimizing COVID-19’s impact and controlling the spread as much as possible,” Mark Wilson, president of MTC, said in a release. “We all know that we can best accomplish our mission of ‘skills for success’ with students in classes, performing hands-on activities, interacting face-to-face with our outstanding faculty and staff and getting the most out of college life.”

Wilson went on to state that requiring masks for everyone on campus will help fulfill those goals.

“And so, to achieve our goal and accomplish our mission, it’s important that all faculty, staff, students and visitors adhere to the safety strategies and protocols that will help us minimize the virus’s impact. Our number one goal is to protect everyone while safely conducting classes on campus,” Wilson said.

In a statement to the Mitchell Republic on July 18, South Dakota Board of Technical Education Executive Director Nick Wendell announced that all four of the state’s technical colleges will require face masks this fall.

“In some of the lab and classroom areas, there is no way to appropriately have social distancing,” Wendell told the Republic at the time. “We’re following CDC guidelines when social distancing can’t be maintained and can’t have six feet between people. To do what we want our students to do, there’s really no other way to approach the fall.”

On the Mitchell Technical College campus, the masks are required in classrooms, labs and hallways. Outside, with proper social distancing, masks are optional. Appropriate signs have been posted on campus to remind visitors.

For more information, read the “Return to Campus...Remain on Campus” plan at www.mitchelltech.edu.