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COVID-19 Information: masks are required indoors on PCC campuses and in centers until March 28, 2022. Learn more on the COVID-19 & Updates Page.
Two students walk into campus building.

COVID-19 Response

Pima Community College continues to maintain the highest standards of health and safety as we transition to more in-person classes and services during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Masks Optional Indoors Beginning March 28, 2022

We are pleased to report that most state and local tracking metrics regarding COVID-19 cases, transmission and hospitalizations in Pima County have now dropped to green (low) or yellow (moderate) thresholds. Given the improving metrics,  the actions of state universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, Pima County and the City of Tucson, as well as recent guidance from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the College will make masks optional but encouraged in indoor spaces of the College beginning on Monday, March 28, 2022.

The College will continue to monitor the data, especially as students return from Spring Break, and is prepared to reinstate the mask mandate if positivity rates or other metrics return to high levels. In the meantime, please continue to observe the current indoor mask mandate and health and safety procedures until March 28, 2022.

When masks become optional, the College’s other pandemic-related policies will remain in place, including encouraging social distancing, COVID-19 self-reporting, operation of Synexis machines in classrooms and open spaces, sanitation stations and the availability of masks and COVID-19 test kits on campuses.

The College has directed faculty to remain flexible and accommodate students as much as possible during this transition. Students who seek a medical or disability accommodation can contact the Office of Access & Disability Resources (ADR.)

Please continue to follow PCC health and safety protocols:

  • If you feel sick, please do not come to campus and get tested immediately
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, follow CDC protocols and guidelines
  • If you or someone in your household has COVID-19 or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please do not come to campus and follow the guidance on our COVID-19 response page, complete a self-report and await guidance.

For more information, please see the list of FAQs on the College website.

We’re hopeful the improved metrics leading to the new “mask optional but encouraged” policy is a promising sign that the pandemic is beginning to ease. Thank you for your patience, flexibility and perseverance as we look to finish the semester strong and healthy together.


Masks Optional But Encouraged FAQs

Will we give students the ability to drop with a refund if they feel unsafe in the environment?

The College has directed faculty to remain flexible and accommodate students as much as possible during this transition. Students who are in a class that is past the drop/add/audit date are not eligible for refunds, but may still withdraw by the published date on the Spring 2022 Academic Calendar.  Students enrolled in 2nd eight-week or 3rd five-week classes may drop/add/audit according to dates published on the Spring 2022 Academic Calendar. Students who seek a medical or disability accommodation can contact the Office of Access & Disability Resources (ADR.)

What is the status of student travel?

Out-of-state but in-country travel will be restarted for Summer 2022 based on the current guidelines which includes monitoring the destination location for COVID-19 outbreaks and traveling to locations that are safer for students and staff. In-state travel is currently allowed. International travel follows the international travel policy. Currently, international travel is discouraged depending on the site of travel and that location's response to the pandemic.

Is emotional/mental health support available?

Pima  has a variety of health and wellness options for students:

Pima cares about your wellness - from time management to personal issues, from childcare to finances. Use the Student Wellness Assistance program to find online resources or connect to a counselor 24x7. Go to the MyPima Students > Student Resources page to get started.

Can a faculty make a mask policy in their classroom?

No. The College’s policies and procedures related to COVID-19 are developed through a deliberative process balancing a number of considerations and based on the recommendations of College employees with expertise in key areas. Allowing individuals to create their own rules would undermine the collaborative and thorough processes in place and likely cause confusion for students.

However, the College continues to strongly encourage masks in indoor areas, and faculty may do the same. They may want to point out to students how social distancing may not be possible in a small classroom or with students who are working closely together in particular lab classes. But there will no longer be enforcement for students who are not wearing masks as they are no longer out of compliance.

As we move from universal masking to individual protection, is one type of mask better than another?

Medical or procedure masks work well in universal masking settings since they prevent spread of a virus at the source (the wearer). KN95 and N95 masks provide better protection to the wearer while still protecting others. A KN95 mask is a better option if you are concerned about being around others who are not wearing masks.

For students in internships, clinicals and similar non-Pima location activities are they also allowed to not wear masks?

Students and employees are expected to follow the requirements of the internship, clinical or other non-College site requirements. This may include masks, safety equipment and other requirements. Please work with your faculty or staff leader to adhere to off-site requirements.

What should a student do if they are immune-compromised?

Each situation is unique, and individuals should work with their healthcare provider to determine what they need to do to keep themselves safe from all potential illnesses. Students seeking a medical or disability accommodation should contact the Office of Access & Disability Resources (ADR) to determine what options are available for them that meet their individual needs.

Should we still social distance?

The pandemic is moving into a new stage as endemic. Standard public health safety practices should continue to be used. This includes handwashing; wearing a mask if you are not fully vaccinated, do not feel well or are concerned about your exposure; social distancing based on what is possible in the situation; good ventilation; cleaning; and not going to work/school/other public activities if you are sick.

These are recommendations that are not about only COVID-19 but about all communicable illnesses, including the flu, colds, and similar diseases.

Will masks and COVID-19 tests still be available on campus?

Tests will be available as long as they are available from the county provider. Masks are part of our supplies and will be available in the dispensing stations, Campus Vice Presidents’ Offices and the campus resource centers.

If COVID-19 increases, will the mask mandate be reinstated?

That is possible. The Pandemic Advisory Group is closely monitoring the data trends, especially as students return from Spring Break, and is prepared to make recommendations based on the data as necessary. The Pandemic Advisory Group reviews data from state and local tracking metrics regarding COVID-19 cases, transmission and hospitalizations in Pima County and the region. The group also monitors actions of state universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, Pima County and the City of Tucson, as well as guidance from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.) Based on these factors, the Pandemic Advisory Group will continue to make recommendations about easing and increasing precautions based on the data and guidance of the CDC and Pima County Health Department.

When a student contracts COVID-19, what will the College be doing to contact trace and rule out the possibility that COVID-19 has been spread and/or contracted in a PCC classroom?

The contact tracing system has been in place since the start of the pandemic and people have been working onsite. Until the CDC and Pima County Health Department remove COVID-19 from the critical monitoring list of infectious diseases, we will continue to provide the monitoring. Like all illnesses, students are not required to report without a federal or state mandatory reporting requirement. Self-report is strongly encouraged in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The system consists of a self-report and notification to the person reporting about the current CDC and Pima County Health guidance. Supervisors, deans and faculty are notified of potential exposures in their area. If the College notices an outbreak, then the administrator for that area is notified and they work with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S), the area with the outbreak and the President of Campuses to determine the appropriate course of action based on the pandemic guidelines.


Mask Options


HEERF Funding/Cares Act FAQs

Pima has been selected to distribute federal funds to students who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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