MILWAUKEE -- It will only be a small percentage of students actually in the classroom this fall, but a donation of 10,000 masks today means those students will be a little safer on campus.
As students head back to MATC this fall, they'll be greeted with a literal sign of the times at the front door.
"We decided that was going to be the protocol on campus long before the city issued that order," said VP of College Advancement and External Communications Laura Bray.
Face masks are required in all buildings. MATC already has 35,000 disposable masks waiting for students and instructors and a large donation Friday — sees an additional 10,000 cloth masks.
"Follow the science on how to flatten the curve, starting with everyone wearing a mask on our campuses," said Lisa Conley.
Conley is a natural sciences instructor and also the president of the faculty's union. The donation is through a fund set up to help students who face unexpected hardships to help them continue their education.
"We will do everything that we have to help our students continue on their educational journey and reach their goals. We're going to do it in the safest way possible," said Conley.
Dental hygiene students
Conley's class — and most others — will move on-line, but courses that have hands-on training will still be done on campus.
"A lot of the classes I've walked through this summer that are in session — they are also wearing these face shields," Brey said.
MATC has stockpiled 2,000 of them, along with 10,000 gloves. The college previously pitched in at the onset of the pandemic by donating PPE to area hospitals. Now it's ready to tackle what comes next:
"For fall, our applications are actually up from this time last year," said Bray.
MATC already had 4,000 cloth masks, so with today's donation, they now have 14,000.
The cloth masks can be washed and reused more than a dozen times.