Arkansas Tech University to require face coverings for indoor settings

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RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Face coverings will be mandatory inside all Arkansas Tech University buildings effective Thursday August 12 and continuing until further notice.

According to a news release from the university, students, faculty, staff, and guests will be required to wear face coverings regardless of their vaccination status when indoors in a congregational setting, including classrooms, meeting rooms, building lobbies, and hallways.

Faculty and staff members who are alone in their offices and students who are in their residence hall rooms and on-campus apartments will not be required to wear face coverings.

“The decision to implement mandatory face coverings at this time is responsive to the recent ruling by Judge Tim Fox regarding Act 1002 of 2021, the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the record number of COVID-related hospitalizations in our state,” said ATU President Dr. Robin E. Bowen.

“Arkansas Tech has relied upon the advice of medical, scientific and public health experts to guide our policies and procedures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bowen said. “Our ATU COVID-19 task force will continue to monitor CDC and Arkansas Department of Health guidance on a weekly basis so that we may engage in best practices, do our part to help limit the spread of the virus and assist in alleviating the current strain on our state’s health care systems. We will also continue to monitor developments relative to Act 1002 of 2021 and take any further steps necessary to comply with State of Arkansas law.”

Students will move into residence halls August 12, according to the release.

Freshman orientation is scheduled for August 14. The first day of class for the fall semester will be August 18.

The releases says indoor gatherings are limited to 50 or fewer people per guidelines published in the ATU COVID-19 Management Plan.

More information about ATU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found on its website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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