HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Due to the decrease in the number of reported positive cases of COVID-19 in Massachusetts, Holyoke Community College (HCC) will increase the number of students it allows in classrooms from 10 to 15 students.

HCC will raise the cap per classroom for fall enrollment in all subjects except in Health Sciences courses. For classes in Health Sciences, the classroom caps will be removed entirely due to health safety protocols enforced in the program.

HCC is expecting to welcome students back to campus for in-person classes beginning Sept. 7. Although encouraged, it is not required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to attend HCC or any of the 15 community colleges in Massachusetts.

In a statement to the HCC community, Narayan Sampath, Vice President of Administration & Finance and a member of the RTC, noted: “Today, the Commonwealth leads the nation in vaccination rates. The Governor has lifted all orders associated with pandemic restrictions, and there has been a dramatic drop in positive test results. School districts have announced that schools will open in the fall with students fully present, and several of our sibling community colleges have moved to increase their allowable class sizes. . . Given these very positive indicators, we believe it is time for HCC to adjust.”

Campus offices have already reopened for in-person services, and the fitness room in HCC’s Bartley Center for Athletics and Recreation will reopen later this week, on Friday, July 16.