Southern Adventist University extends indoor masking requirement

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Southern Adventist University is extending its indoor masking requirement to Friday, September 17, according to an email sent to the student body on August 30 by Interim Vice President of Student Development Lisa Hall. The email stated that the decision was made due to an increase in COVID-19 cases on campus.

“In case you are not aware, we are experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases on campus,” Hall wrote in the email. “It appears that the Delta variant is more common in those who are under 30 than the variant we had last year. Your health and safety is important to us, so I encourage you to follow these CDC tips for protecting yourself from COVID-19.”

Hall advised students to wash hands frequently and thoroughly, social distance, avoid large crowds and monitor their health daily. 

In addition to the extension, Hall announced in another email sent on August 31 that worship and enrichment credit events such as Vespers, convocations and residence hall worships will be hosted virtually from September 2 to September 18.

“Please be aware that although this change is temporary, we will be continually re-evaluating and updating the student body as necessary,” Hall wrote in the email regarding virtual worship and enrichment credit events.

As of August 31, Southern’s safety information and updates page lists 85 students and four employees in quarantine. It also lists 18 students and three employees in isolation. However, it does not distinguish between the number of people who decided to quarantine or isolate themselves on-campus and those who decided to quarantine or isolate themselves off-campus.

Hall wrote in the email that the CDC recommends getting vaccinated. She also stated that the Pfizer vaccine received full FDA approval. 

According to the email, the University Health Center (UHC) is planning to have a vaccination clinic on campus. Although there is currently no set date or location, Hall said to look for future emails regarding that information. For students wanting to receive vaccinations sooner, the UHC is offering free rides to vaccine sites off campus, according to the email.

To reach the UHC for health inquiries or free rides to vaccine sites, call (423) 236-2713.

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