Welcome back from Spring Break! I write this update almost two years to the day from the moment COVID-19 changed our lives.
Now, with the number of COVID-19 cases significantly declining both on campus and in our community and given the ready availability of vaccines, the University is shifting its response to COVID-19 in the following ways:
- Masking: With a decrease in the COVID-19 infection rate, our masking recommendation will be changed from “strongly encouraged” to “mask optional.” Of course, anyone who wishes to continue to mask should feel comfortable doing so.
- Reporting: The online COVID-19 Guidance Forms will be disabled starting Friday, March 25. This date was chosen to allow individuals who may have been exposed during Spring Break to report those concerns. Moving forward, however, if a health care provider recommends that you isolate or quarantine, students will submit documentation to the Office of Student Outreach and Support (SOS), which will send academic notices to faculty via the Academic Notification Process: utc.edu/excuse. University employees advised by health care providers to isolate or quarantine should send documentation of that instruction and notice of date to return to work on campus to their department heads or supervisors.
These changes reflect plans for treating COVID-19 more like other infectious diseases. As has been the case for the last two years, if circumstances call for adjusting our plans, we will shift and respond appropriately.
In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone for their efforts as we traversed two years of uncertainty. We all look toward an increasingly normal on-campus experience and a successful conclusion of this academic year. Let’s finish strong and together!