Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday in Lubbock that his 2020 mask mandate would be coming to an end on Wednesday, March 10th. But that doesn't mean masks are gone for good.

Texas Tech University President Dr. Lawrence Schovanec announced Friday an update to campus safety protocols.

In an email to the campus community, Dr. Schovanec made clear that Texas Tech University will be keeping the policy on masks and social distancing through the end of the spring semester:

Governor Abbott’s executive order provides us the flexibility to continue with our safety protocols as we see appropriate. Following the System’s recommendation, and out of safety considerations for our students, faculty, and staff, and to minimize disruptions, Texas Tech University will continue to require face coverings and social distancing in the classroom and indoor settings through the remainder of the spring semester.

As part of our efforts to provide the traditional college experience to our students, we will maintain flexibility in safely accommodating student activity requests. We will also continue to make investments in outdoor gathering spaces to provide opportunities for greater student social interaction. The new Red Raider Plaza, located adjacent to the Student Union and the University Library, is a primary example of that investment.

In the email, Dr. Schovanec also said that Texas Tech Athletics will soon be issuing revised policies regarding attendance at outdoor sporting events.

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Texas Tech University joins the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, SMU and Rice in keeping with current COVID-19 restrictions. Dr. Schovanec wrote that by requiring face coverings, social distancing, and providing access to the vaccine, the school hopes that students, staff and their families can remain healthy.

The Texas Tech president also said he remains optimistic that Texas Tech can return to more normal operations in the summer and fall terms.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.


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