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TTU President outlines COVID-19 protocols for fall semester

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 10:35 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - On Wednesday, students can start moving in to the dorms at Texas Tech. The fall semester kicks off as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Lubbock County.

President Lawrence Schovanec says the university is already seeing the impact of the pandemic on retention rates, so he wants this year to be different. He’s hoping protocols and help from the campus community can allow for the full college experience.

“I must admit that last May I didn’t anticipate that we would still be doing some of these things. But, our situation calls for it now and that’s what we’re going to do,” Schovanec said.

To prevent congestion during move-in, families can select a time slot over a week-long period. This year, President Schovanec says the university plans for much more face-to face instruction. 70 percent of classes are fully in-person, 15 percent are hybrid and 15 percent are online.

“But we do have to be prepared to pivot if the spike continues to develop,” Schovanec said.

There will be enhanced sanitizing on campus and professors are asked to use a seating chart to help with contact tracing.

“We’re planning full capacity at athletic events, lectures and public events,” Schovanec said.

While the governor prohibited mask or vaccine mandates, Schovanec says he appreciates his latest encouragement for people to get the shot.

“We want to function in a more normal manner. So, we are actively encouraging vaccinations and we’re providing incentives for that. I know everyone doesn’t agree with that but we’re going to do everything we can to keep our students and faculty and staff safe,” Schovanec said.

TDEM will be on campus during move-in to provide vaccinations and a private firm will provide testing throughout the semester. Dorms are nearly at full capacity, but the president says the university is already reserving rooms on and off campus for students to quarantine.

“We want students to expect a more normal experience and we want to do that in the safest way as possible,” Schovanec said.

president Schovanec says he doesn’t want the university to overreact, when in a month the situation may be different. He says staff is monitoring cases daily and making decisions in real time to protect the health of those on campus.

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