Textbooks, pens, pencils and calculators are some of the common course materials Chadron State College students are required to bring to class. During the COVID-19 pandemic, face coverings have been added to the syllabus.

The requirement to wear face coverings is limited to classrooms where social distancing is impossible, according to a policy statement released on June 29. The new policy also said the use of face coverings was “encouraged” in facilities and outdoors on campus, but not required.

“If we continue to encourage the CSC community to wear masks, wash hands, and practice social distancing, we will be doing simple things to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in Chadron,” Jon Hansen, Vice president for enrollment management, marketing, and student services, said in a news release.

Alex Helmbrecht, college relations director and a member of CSC’s COVID-19 Implementation Team, said the college was still evaluating how enforcement of the in-class requirement would be conducted.

In the meantime, CSC would supply students, staff and faculty with cloth masks, encouraging use across campus, according to Helmbrecht. Staff and student workers were provided with two masks in June.

The cloth masks are adorned with the school’s logo on a black background. They were provided to the college by the Nebraska State College System, or NSCS, which spent $9,350 on CSC’s masks, according to Judi Yorges, NSCS’s director of external relations and communications.

In Dawes County, where CSC is located, the Panhandle Public Health Department has identified four cases of COVID-19, including one case contracted from community spread. PPHD has not identified any deaths related to COVID-19 in Dawes County.

The Centers for Disease Control recommended that face coverings be worn “in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain,” on June 28.

In-person fall courses at CSC return Aug. 17.

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