University of Tennessee at Knoxville reinstates mask mandate to comply with federal funding after lifting it less than 24 hours ago

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“Regardless of our very low Covid-19 numbers on campus, we’re working to keep up compliance with relevant legal guidelines,” College of Tennessee at Knoxville chancellor Donde Plowman wrote in an open letter to colleagues that addressed confusion across the change.

“We should put a masks requirement again in place for many UT Knoxville buildings, which we plan to do efficient Monday, November 22,” Plowman stated, to ensure that the college to stay compliant with the manager order.

UT System President Randy Boyd despatched an electronic mail Monday night to workers lifting the masks mandate to adjust to a brand new Tennessee legislation prohibiting masks and vaccine mandates, which grew to become efficient Friday, in response to the letter.

However UT Knoxville is a federal contractor, in response to Plowman, and the Biden administration issued a federal govt order requiring employees of federal contractors be vaccinated by January 4, in addition to CDC steerage — together with masks carrying — be adopted in buildings of federal contractors.

“As a result of federal funding is at stake, the brand new state legislation offers federal contractors with the power to use for an exemption to the state legislation, and President Boyd utilized on behalf of the UT System to the state comptroller. We acquired discover of the exemption yesterday, shortly after President Boyd’s electronic mail was despatched,” Plowman wrote.

The chancellor stated the masks mandate will not go into impact till Monday as a result of the Tennessee lawyer common has filed a lawsuit difficult the federal govt order.

CNN has reached out to different faculties throughout the College of Tennessee system to ask in the event that they intend to reinstate their numerous masks necessities.

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