HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Community College (HCC) announced Friday they will be ending their mask mandate at the end of the spring 2022 semester.

HCC President Christina Royal said the low number of new COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts as well as the current mask guidelines from the CDC and Mass. DPH were reasons to make the campus mask-optional.

“For many of you, this news may come as a relief,” Royal said. “For others, you may still not feel safe without your mask. Both are understandable. I ask that as a community, we practice our values of kindness, inclusion, and trust. I ask that we make those who continue to mask feel comfortable, respected, and welcome as part of our community. The health and safety of our community remains of utmost importance.”

HCC will be returning to an in-person graduation this year on Saturday, June 4th at the MassMutual Center. The last in-person graduation was held in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.