DATE: July 31, 2020 at 11:56 am
TO: Faculty and Staff

FROM: Dr. Richard Nelson, President

Hello and a happy gorgeous Friday to all.

As you have no doubt heard, Governor Evers has issued an Executive Order, effective at midnight tonight, mandating face coverings in enclosed spaces across the state. This puts Wisconsin in line with most other states and the recommendations of health professionals, including the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Hospital Association, the United States Centers for Disease Control, and many others.

The order provides considerable detail with regard to the specifics of the mask requirement, including a number of exceptions. I encourage you to read it in its entirety as Nicolet College will make every effort to operate in complete compliance. Broadly, our expectation will be that every individual, age five and older, in buildings owned or controlled by Nicolet College will wear a face covering if the individual is indoors or in an enclosed space.

For the purpose of this order, “enclosed space” means “a confined space open to the public where individuals congregate, including but not limited to outdoor bars, outdoor restaurants, taxis, public transit, ride-share vehicles, and outdoor park structures”. We will seek additional clarification, but the language appears to permit individuals who are working alone in an enclosed office (door closed) to do so without a mask. Should others enter the enclosed office, all are required to wear masks.

For the purpose of this order, “face covering” means a piece of cloth or other material that is worn to cover the nose and mouth completely. A "face covering'' includes but is not limited to a bandana, a cloth face mask, a disposable or paper mask, a neck gaiter, or a religious face covering”, but not “face shields, mesh masks, masks with holes or openings, or masks with vents. As long as supplies are available, the College will provide an acceptable mask to any employee, student or vendor who does not have one.

The Emergency Order includes a number of exceptions, including one that allows us to continue with our plans to offer F2F instruction, with restrictions, when no good alternative is available. It says that when single individuals are “giving a religious, political, media, educational, artistic, cultural, musical, or theatrical presentation for an audience, [they] may remove the face covering when actively speaking. While the face covering is removed, the speaker must remain at least 6 feet away from all other individuals at all times.”

Other exceptions include young children (< 5 yrs), when wearing a mask could pose a danger (in the welding booth, for example), for individuals with “medical conditions, intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental health conditions, or other sensory sensitivities,” for eating and sleeping (not too much of the latter during work hours, right?), and several others.

Coincidently, we have drafted a mask policy similar to those found at most other WTCS schools and were preparing to release it just as the Governor’s Emergency Order was issued, so the Order doesn’t change where we were going anyway. More importantly, it is consistent with our foundational College-wide commitment to do what we can to protect health and safety. If you have questions specific to your needs or circumstances, please ask your supervisor or an ELT member. We’ll do our best to find answers.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and attention to compliance. Treating each other with kindness and respect is a College Value, and that includes doing what we can to keep each other well.