TBR chancellor reinstates campus mask mandate
By Daphne Thomas
Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Flora Tydings yesterday evening gave Southwest Tennessee Community College and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology at Memphis permission to follow guidelines outlined in the Shelby County Health Department Amended Health Order No. 24 issued Aug. 6 that requires masks be worn in indoor public spaces. SCHD announced yesterday that Governor Lee’s Executive Order 84 does not nullify the SCHD Amended Health Order No. 24.
Therefore, Southwest’s mask mandate is reinstated effective Friday, August 20. Masks will be required to be worn indoors at all times. Exceptions are while eating or in a private office.
“This is great news,” President Tracy D. Hall said. “We have made employee and student safety a priority for the past 17 months and this mandate will bolster our efforts to make our campuses as safe as possible and help students and employees keep moving forward to success as we return to full campus operation.”
Southwest safety policies comply with state and local mandates and align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Therefore, in accordance with State of Tennessee and TBR guidelines, Southwest Tennessee Community College does not require a Covid-19 vaccination for access to the college.
Custodial team members will continue to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in common areas every two hours as the CDC recommends. In addition, masks are provided at campus locations and healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing are encouraged.
Students, employees and visitors should be mindful of the College’s infectious disease policy and self-reporting protocols listed below. The College realizes the fluidity of the Coronavirus pandemic and ever-changing landscape of national, state, and local health and safety guidelines and is committed to keeping students and employees informed about the latest health and safety measures.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE POLICY
In accordance with the College’s infectious disease policy, please do not come to campus if you:
- Are experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms,
- Are waiting for COVID-19 test results,
- Are in isolation or quarantine due to a positive COVID-19 test result or exposure; or
- Have reason to believe you have come in contact with the virus.
All Southwest students, employees and visitors who test positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to self-report online. Visit the Southwest website at southwest.tn.edu and click the “Self-Report COVID-19” link at the top of the homepage. The form only takes a few minutes to complete and all information will be kept strictly confidential.
- Employees with COVID-19-related conditions or concerns should fill out an online self-report form and notify Southwest Human Resources as soon as possible at email@example.com or 901-333-5340.
- Students with COVID-19-related conditions or concerns should fill out an online self-report form and contact instructors for guidance regarding class attendance and assignments. Students also may contact the College’s Counseling Services Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 901-333-5121.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
- Visit Shelby.Community online for information on where to get free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.
- For COVID-19 updates from Southwest Tennessee Community College, visit https://www.southwest.tn.edu/coronavirus/.
- For Back to Campus safety protocols and other information, visit https://www.southwest.tn.edu/back-to-campus/.