As we begin the new year and a new semester, we are dealing with a surge in COVID cases due to the new Omicron variant. This new variant is highly contagious; 1 in 3 tests in Tennessee is proving positive. Hospitalizations, likewise, continue to rise across the state. We have worked with our Campus Clinic Staff, consulting with President Boyd and chancellors across the UT System, to determine how best to safely continue campus operations and offer face-to-face instruction.
Right now our first priority remains providing a quality education for students and a safe workplace for all faculty and staff. Effective immediately the precautions described below will be in place for everyone in the UTS community.
Masks are expected in indoor spaces. We know masks can slow the spread, which will allow us to continue face to face. Whenever it’s possible physically distancing from others is also expected. Our Athletic Program will proceed with recommended masking and social distancing when possible.
The UT Southern Clinic provides COVID-19 testing. Faculty, staff and students who have tested positive should complete the UTS COVID-19 Notification Form found on the COVID-19 Information website. If you are experiencing symptoms, you are expected to seek medical attention. If you are experiencing symptoms our academic areas will Students, remember, stay in touch with your faculty, who will work with you to make sure you don’t fall behind academically. We even have laptops if you need to check one out. Student Success is at the heart of all we do, which stems from our total commitment to you.
Vaccinations and boosters continue to be our best shot at battling Covid-19 and getting back to normal. These are available at Departments of Health and by appointment at our Campus Clinic. Contact our campus clinic by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our local community members are fierce supporters of this University. We owe them our commitment to these mitigation strategies. I know you will want to keep our campus and community healthy. We will continue to monitor our local situation and adapt as needed.
As always, thank you for your commitment to ensuring the safety of those around you.
For the University,
Chancellor La Branche