COVID-19 Update on Face Covering, Campus Space & Commencement

Dear Campus Community,

This is an important announcement regarding significant changes in COVID-19 protocols on campus. First and foremost, thank you for following directives and staying safe. We have had very few reported COVID cases over the last six weeks. While restrictions are loosening, please vaccinate and continue to exercise caution and good judgement to limit the further spread of COVID-19.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance based upon the most recent health data and scientific research that as of May 16, face coverings would no longer be required indoors or outdoors for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Following review by the State of Nevada and the Nevada System of Higher Education, new guidance has been issued regarding COVID-19 protocols.


Face Covering

Based on this guidance, effective immediately, Nevada State College individuals, including students, employees, and members of the public, who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are no longer required to wear a face covering while inside buildings, inside classrooms, or outside on campus. Fully vaccinated, as defined by the CDC, means two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine is administered, i.e., Pfizer or Moderna, or two weeks after a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine is administered, i.e., Johnson & Johnson Janssen. Please note that individual programs, such as nursing and teaching, may have requirements related to clinical placements and practicums that may vary from this guidance. Also, as this change is occurring in the middle of the first summer session, please respect your instructors request that you continue to wear face coverings while in the classroom for the balance of the first summer session.

As to individuals, including students, employees, and members of the public, who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you are still required to wear face coverings while inside NSC buildings and classrooms, irrespective of whether other individuals are present. You are also required to wear face coverings while outside on campus in group settings or where social distancing cannot be maintained. For individuals who have not fully received a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a face covering remains mandatory under the law.

Students and employees are obligated to follow codes of conduct and workplace policies. We expect students and employees to voluntarily comply with the updated face coverings policy without any specific questioning of their vaccination status. It is part of our personal integrity and civic responsibility for each of us to comply.


Campus Spaces/Events/Commencement

Starting June 1, Clark County will lift restrictions involving capacity limits, large gatherings and social distancing. The guidance has been adopted by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak and the Clark County Board of Commissioners.

  • All campus spaces, including classrooms, may return to full capacity beginning June 1. No social distance is required. However, it will take some time for facility changes to be implemented. With respect to classrooms, the Information Technology Services and Facilities teams will reconfigure classrooms and labs over the summer to prepare for normal occupancy in the fall semester.
  • In-person events and gatherings will only require the submission of the standard event request form after June 1. The event exception form is no longer needed.  A minimum of four weeks’ notice on all event requests is still required. Your reservation is tentative until you receive a confirmation notice.
  • The Orleans Arena will operate at full capacity as of June 1, which now allows 2021 Commencement to accommodate over 5,500+ guests. Tickets are no longer required, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional details on Graduation and COVID-19 protocols will be communicated by email later this afternoon.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and our campus community. We encourage all Nevadans over the age of 12 to get vaccinated. Visit to schedule a vaccination appointment. Recent statistics point to less than 50% of eligible people are vaccinated in Southern Nevada. Let’s be the solution by getting vaccinated and encouraging others to do the same.

Wearing a face covering also remains an effective means of preventing infection for both unvaccinated and vaccinated people. Regardless of what someone chooses (mask or no mask), the college seeks to bolster our sense of community and asks everyone on campus to be respectful of individual decisions on wearing face coverings.

If you suspect or are confirmed to have COVID-19, complete the Self-Report Form at Resources are also available in the State Safe app.

As always remember that the current COVID-19 policies on face covering remain subject to amendment whereby mitigation efforts or restrictions may be further relaxed or strengthened. We will continue to share information specific to Nevada State through official channels, including


Be State Safe!

Bart Patterson

May 6, 2021

Dear Nevada State Community;

Thank you for doing your part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. For two consecutive weeks, we have had no new reports of positive cases. We are grateful and acknowledge your commitment.  Please continue to practice prevention protocols and encourage others to vaccinate.

Effective May 1, the Clark County Nevada Local Mitigation and Enforcement Plan has approved reducing social distance space to 3-feet and increasing room capacities to 80%. Note most classrooms and other spaces on campus hold fewer than 80% of their capacity when all individuals are spaced 3-feet apart. Our facilities and ITS teams have set all campus spaces so that social distance can be maintained.

The Office of the Provost continues to plan for appropriate in-person class sizes, taking into consideration how safety can be maintained in consideration of County mandates, campus spaces, and the needs of our faculty, staff and students. Our measurements indicate that we can safely put approximately 30 students in a typical classroom with a capacity of 40 students.

Governor Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 045, issued May 3 modified the face covering mandate for individuals that are fully vaccinated.  Given that at this time vaccinations are not mandatory, we will continue to require face coverings be worn indoors at all times.  Individuals should not remove their face coverings to teach or present indoors.  While indoors a face covering can be removed only if an individual is socially distanced while actively eating or drinking, or in a closed office alone.  While outdoors face coverings may be removed, however there are exceptions. For example, if an outdoor event requires participants be in close proximity such as a concert, face coverings will be required.

In-person events and gatherings require the submission of event exception request form. Requests for an exception must be submitted at least four weeks in advance for events limited to Nevada State students, faculty and/or staff and six weeks in advance for events attended by visitors or guests. This applies to any activity, occasion, reception, performance, special meal, conference, training, meeting, or any combination thereof that does not appear in a published class schedule. Appointments and classes are excluded.

Working together to safeguard the campus community requires our unwavering commitment to observing these best practices:

  1. All Nevadans over the age of 16 are encouraged to get vaccinated. Visit to schedule a vaccination appointment.
  2. Continue following protocols for prevention.
  3. Be aware of symptoms of COVID-19, and seek medical care when it is needed.
  4. Do not come to campus if you know you were exposed to COVID-19. You should stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should stay home (quarantine) since symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
  5. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, get a free test and stay off campus. To determine when it is safe to return to being around others, check here:
  6. To schedule a free COVID-19 test, visit or visit and select PUBLIC as your employer.
  7. If you suspect or are confirmed to have COVID-19, complete the Self-Report Form at

The Self-Report Form and many more tools are also available on the State Safe app.

We will continue to share information specific to Nevada State through official channels, including

Virtual Town Hall

Do you have questions?  Then tune in to the Virtual Town Hall on Friday, May 7th at 12:00 p.m. at  All employees can submit questions in advance for campus leadership by visiting

Edith Fernández, PhD
Vice President