MTSU reinstates mask mandate as COVID cases spike

MTSU reinstates mask mandate as COVID cases spike

Middle Tennessee State University Sidney A. McPhee announced that the university will reinstate its mask mandate, with limited exceptions, inside campus buildings beginning Wednesday, Aug. 11. Below is his message to the campus community announcing the decision.

To our University Community:

In less than two weeks, students will be returning to begin our Fall semester.

We look forward to welcoming our Blue Raider family back to campus, and providing everyone with a traditional on-campus experience.  However, it is important to remind everyone that in order to assure the safety of our community, preventative health practices must be observed.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee, MTSU president

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

Over the past few weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in the numbers of individuals testing positive with COVD-19; more specifically the Delta variant. In response, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued new guidance to help slow the spread of the virus.

In keeping with these recommendations, effective Wednesday, August 11, we will again require all members of our campus community to wear masks at all times inside university facilities. Exclusions to this include private offices, dorm rooms and individual study rooms.

While recognizing that vaccination is a personal choice, it has been proven that this is the most effective way to combat this virus. We continue to strongly encourage everyone to be vaccinated and will continue to provide vaccinations through our student health Services. Masking and vaccination will help us keep the traditional class schedule currently in place for this fall.

This is not how we had intended to begin the year and it is my hope that this requirement will be short-lived.  We will continue to monitor the situation on our campus and make decisions as appropriate.  Currently, required masking is the only modification to our plan to return to campus.  Any future decisions, however, will be influenced by how well our community and campus respond to this latest outbreak.

Stay safe.

Sidney A. McPhee

To keep up with the latest campus updates surrounding the university’s coronavirus response, or to schedule your own on-campus vaccination, go here.

MTSU is one of the hundreds of universities throughout the nation participating in the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge, an awareness effort to increase vaccination rates throughout the country.

In this April file photo, MTSU student Julia Hagelberg receives her vaccination from physician assistant Ashley Bjork during a special clinic inside the Student Union building. MTSU Student Health Services continues offering clinics this summer during CUSTOMS new student orientation sessions. (MTSU file photo by J. Intintoli)