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ETSU recently reinstates mask mandate on campus

BY NIC MILLER
STAR STAFF
nic.miller@elizabethton.com 

As announced yesterday by officials of East Tennessee State University, the school will be reinstating the mask mandate that was originally lifted during the month of May this year.

The policy from the University was announced on Tuesday in an email from the school and will be effective from August 4th. The email was sent to all students of the University and states, “Face coverings will be required in most indoor settings for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. This action applies to those who have been vaccinated, as well as those who have yet to receive the vaccine.”

Along with these requirements, East Tennessee State University stated that face coverings will not be required while eating or drinking, or in individual private offices or residence hall rooms.

The university says this action to require face coverings on campus comes from “a significant increase of Covid-19 cases in our area, stemming primarily from the Delta variant, coupled with vaccination rates across our region that trail national averages.”

ETSU Student Body President Mason Mosier shared his thoughts on the University’s decision, saying, “I was hopeful that when we started the semester that people would be getting vaccinated and that we would not have to go back to this and have a sense of normalcy on campus.”

“Going forward, if we can push for more people on campus to get vaccinated then hopefully this will be short-lived and we can get back to that sense of normalcy that we not only want but need.”

This decision by East Tennessee State University is one that some people are not favorable of, believing that they were vaccinated for a reason that is not being rewarded.

Mosier explained that he empathizes with these people, saying, “I understand that they were under the impression that if they were vaccinated, they would not have to wear masks not only on campus but elsewhere in the community.”

“For however short-lived this mandate will be in effect, we as a University are going to do everything we can to protect the students, faculty, and staff so that we can return back to the way things were.”

For those who have yet to be vaccinated from the Covid-19 virus, East Tennessee State University will be hosting free vaccine clinics throughout the coming weeks.