TTU cancels tailgating, enforces mask wearing, says athletic events and graduation will move forward

TTU cancels tailgating, enforces mask wearing, says athletic events and graduation will move forward
(Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Texas Tech President Lawrence Schovanec sent an email to students and faculty saying they’re implementing additional limits on extracurricular activities due to COVID-19 continuing to spread throughout the community.

Schovanec says all events and gatherings of more than 10 people scheduled between now and Monday, November 30, 2020, must be moved to an online format or postponed with a few exceptions.

All classes between now and Thanksgiving break will continue as scheduled. All instruction will be online for the last three days of classes, as previously announced.

Texas Tech Athletics and December Commencement events will move forward with enhanced safety requirements. Schovanec says the administration will remain in close contact with city and county health officials as they monitor these events.

In the next few days, university officials will be announcing more detail on new policies and enforcement of protocols, including cancellation of tailgating and strict enforcement of mask-wearing and significantly reduced seating capacities.

Administrators have communicated with December graduates and their families to inform them that everyone involved must be prepared to respond if conditions in our city continue to deteriorate and local health authorities recommend that they not proceed with in-person commencement exercises.

“We recognize that staff, faculty, and students continue to deal with high levels of stress, wellness concerns, and work issues,” said Schovanec in the email. "I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff in dealing with challenges that this pandemic has presented. You have continued to educate and care for our students in spite of the difficulties in the work place and your personal lives. I appreciate deans, chairs, and supervisors' efforts in accommodating the challenges faced by faculty and staff. It is even more essential at this time that we continue to realign expectations for productivity and increased flexibility. Student mental health needs are particularly acute at this time. In discussion with the leadership of Student Government Association and our health care providers, we will continue to address additional ways to promote access to health support and services. A list of resources for staff, faculty, and students will be forthcoming. I should also add that we are now increasing the number of personnel to assist in contact tracing and quarantine checks, and an automated call system for wellness checks is in place.

“At this time, we must protect our university community and reduce the stress on our front-line health care workers and our local health care infrastructure. I implore you to follow the guidance we laid out in the Texas Tech Commitment months ago; these efforts will help ensure our campus community’s health and safety as well as the city we call home.”

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