Albany Tech still encouraging students, staff to wear masks after latest COVID executive order

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Albany Technical College is encouraging students and staff to continue checking their temperatures and wearing a mask while on campus.

In Gov. Brian Kemp’s most recent executive order, he said schools cannot use a state of emergency to require staff or students to wear a mask. He said this is because of the decline in COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations in Georgia.

President at Albany Technical College Dr. Anthony Parker said he is relieved restrictions are rolling back because it means COVID-19 cases and deaths are going down.

“I have confidence in our students, faculty and staff that they can accept the new guidance and accept the ability to be able to do more and still respect their fellow students,” said Parker.

Dr. Anthony Parker, President at Albany Technical College
Dr. Anthony Parker, President at Albany Technical College(WALB)

He said they are encouraging students to get their temperature checked and wear their masks while on campus.

“We have people who are getting treatments, chemo or dialysis and of course, they need to do more to protect themselves,” said Parker.

Robert Jackson, an Albany Tech student, said he likes to wear a mask for his safety, as well as others.

“I took readily to wearing a mask and abiding by the protocols to protect myself from getting infected,” said Jackson.

Jackson said he thinks each person should decide if they want to wear a mask or not.

“We all know what the consequences are and we’re willing to take that chance, so be it,” said Jackson.

In many cases, Parker said students stressed to him that they didn’t come to school, not because of fear of COVID-19, but because of their schedule.

Robert Jackson, student at Albany Technical College
Robert Jackson, student at Albany Technical College(WALB)

“We have a lot of students with young children and those children were learning remotely and some of them had to be available so that they didn’t get further behind in school,” said Parker.

Parker is hopeful COVID-19 cases and deaths will continue to decrease, so more students can continue their education.

“We are hoping that circumstances continue well enough for a k-12 system to feel comfortable enough to open, so the individuals who have small children or children in school will feel that they’re in a better place,” said Parker.

Parker said Albany Tech will continue to follow CDC guidelines.

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