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TTU Emphasizing COVID Protection for Spring Semester

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
TTU Emphasizing COVID Protection for Spring Semester

Tennessee Tech’s Spring Semester will look like it did in the Fall, with a few adjustments based on what the school’s learned navigating the pandemic.

TTU Chief Communications Officer Karen Lykins said the school is going to have a bigger emphasis on safety during the pandemic because of holiday breaks. Lykins said the school has seen the effect that students leaving for vacation has on campus COVID numbers.

“We know looking at our numbers that we saw our peak of cases go up right after Fall break and now they are back down to the pre-Fall break numbers,” Lykins said. “We’d love for everyone to keep in mind what it takes to stay safe when they’re home.”

Lykins said the campus is starting this effort now, currently offering free flu vaccines to students, staff and faculty before Winter break. Lykins said the school knows that students are not going to bring COVID with them on vacation.

“We know they’re not taking COVID back to their home,” Lykins said. “We want to make sure that they leave here safe and when they return they’ve done the right things so that they come back in a healthy manner.”

Lykins said as time passes, it is only natural to form a more relaxed attitude towards new rules. She said this is why the university plans to remind students how to protect each other when they return from Winter break.

“It is a human tendency to let our guard down, so I think in the Spring Semester you may even see more encouragement to continue to stay safe,” Lykins said. “To have those good practices here on campus and off campus.”

On and off campus, COVID will continue to affect the school’s learning model this Spring. Lykins said in-person, hybrid and full remote will continue, with only slight adjustments to help give students a better idea of their virtual learning schedule.

“There’s two ways that online classes could be presented. One where everyone meets at the same time, like you would in person or whether it’s more of a watch it when you are available to watch,” Lykins said. “That was one thing that students had requested we be clear about.”

Lykins said a big part of the learning process this semester was acknowledging that students need more time to prepare. Lykins credited the success of the Fall semester to student compliance with COVID guidelines. As well as faculty and staff making the effort to give students more time and flexibility.



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