Maricopa Emergency Management System Alert

A Message from President Smith about Critical COVID-19 Protocols and Safety Updates

Image of President Kate Smith: A Message from President Smith about Critical COVID-19 Protocols and Safety Updates. image of young woman holding gift card. Text: Get a $50 grocery card with your free COVID-19 vaccination.

A Message from President Smith about Critical COVID-19 Protocols and Safety Updates

Dear Students,

I am excited to welcome you to the fall semester and looking forward to your continued success, while we navigate the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. To that end, I am reaching out to you today with important updates from the Maricopa Community Colleges District (MCCCD) about COVID-19 safety protocols.

In monitoring the current public health situation, including the recent increase in COVID-19 diagnoses, the presence of the Delta variant in Maricopa County, and current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, we have decided it is best to require masks to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

As such, Rio Salado and the Maricopa Community Colleges will therefore require that all individuals— faculty, staff, students, and visitors— wear facial coverings while indoors at all our locations.

We believe this decision will provide the best chance to maintain our in-person services and protect all the communities we serve.  We will also continue to monitor the evolving mask and face-covering guidelines and update you of any changes as we move into the fall semester.

Because this requirement applies to all individuals regardless of vaccination status, it is in line with both the Governor’s Executive Order (2021-15) and Arizona Revised Statutes 15-1650.05, which will go into effect on September 29, 2021. We understand that not everyone may be able or willing to be vaccinated, and our intent is to respect each individual within our community while also addressing the safety concerns associated with the current circumstances.

Also, as a reminder, MCCCD continues to strongly encourage members of our community who are able to do so to receive the vaccine. If you have yet to be vaccinated and intend to do so, we encourage you to join the many faculty, staff, and students who have already been vaccinated to help us protect our community. Beginning August 21, 2021, we will be hosting vaccine clinics at Maricopa Community Colleges across the Valley, for students and their friends and families.

As an added incentive, students receiving the vaccine at one of our college campuses will receive a $50 grocery gift card while supplies last. Stay tuned for more details soon.

As we continue to evaluate our operational plans and services, our highest priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. 

With gratitude and admiration for your unwavering efforts to continue your education during this challenging time.

Kate Smith
Rio Salado College President

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