Photo Credit: UT System
Published August 4, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn and Makenzie Jones, contributor] –
On August 2nd, the University of Tennessee Chattanooga announced that to start the semester, they will be requiring mask-wearing by the entire campus community, regardless of vaccination status.
UTC’s Chancellor Steven Angle said in his update on Monday, “Significant changes have been made to the university’s processes and procedures since May, and certain prior restrictions have been eased,” but that “some last-minute changes may be necessary based on statewide and community cases.”
According to their website, masks will be required in all UTC instructional spaces, University Health Services, the Collins Street Annex, the Counseling Center and on the Mocs Express Shuttle.
In addition, masks will be required at all indoor events that students are required to attend.
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Spokespersons for UTC state that, “Mask use by anyone, anywhere on campus, regardless of vaccination status, is appropriate.”
In response, concerned Tennessee parent, Dana Attkisson Croy said, “Please consider mask optional for vaccinated students. After a year of virtual and limited campus activities, they need normal.”
University of Chattanooga alumnus Chip Davidson said, “So people got vaccinated for nothing? Must not work.”
Regarding seating and social distancing, UTC has communicated that “At this time, students and employees will have full access to campus facilities, common areas and classroom spaces.”
UT System President, Randy Boyd is also strongly urging students, faculty and staff to receive the COVID vaccination.
“With the Delta variant spreading in our state and communities, we want to help ensure the safest return possible,” Boyd said. “The best way to take care of each other as we return to campus is to first take care of ourselves by getting the COVID-19 vaccine.”
To this end, University Health Services will be offering ongoing vaccine clinics administering Moderna and Johnson & Johnson at various times.
As student move onto campus this Fall semester, University Health Services will be providing optional COVID-19 testing and vaccinations during the move-in process.
UTC has also shared their protocols for quarantine and isolation.
Individuals who upload documentation indicating they are fully vaccinated but have a current exposure to a COVID positive person will be asked to complete a COVID-19 notification form. If they are without symptoms, quarantine may not be required but it is expected that they will monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.
For those who have uploaded documentation indicating they are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19, isolation will be required.
UTC states that additional last-minute changes to their rules/guidelines may change as they monitor statewide and community cases.
The same general set of rules also applies to all other UT System schools including: UT Knoxville, UT Institute of Agriculture, UT Chattanooga, UT Martin, UT Southern and the UT Health Science Center.
About the Authors:
Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative
Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com
Makenzie Jones is a current MBA student at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is a member of the cross country and track teams.
She earned undergraduate degrees in Communications and Sports & Outdoor Recreation. Outside of school, she enjoys scrapbooking, cooking, writing, water and snow skiing, and spending time with her family and pets in her hometown of Jefferson City, TN.
Follow Makenzie on Twitter @makenzie_jones