East Texas colleges prepare for back to school as Delta variant surges

Back to School

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – With classes starting next week for many East Texas colleges and universities, COVID-19 is already impacting back-to-school decisions.

All of this comes as colleges and universities are reopening and considering implementing COVID measures now that the Delta variant is on the rise.

Some universities have made vaccines mandatory, but there are no East Texas colleges that have set these requirements in place.

Several institutes of higher education “strongly encourage” COVID-19 vaccines, but do not mandate them. Local colleges and universities have been working to ensure that students, staff and faculty are aware of their COVID policies.

The CDC has offered guidance for institutions of higher education, recommending the following:

  • Offer and promote COVID-19 vaccinations
  • Guidance for IHE’s where everyone is fully vaccinated
  • Guidance for IHE’s where not everyone is fully vaccinated
  • General consideration for all IHE’s

Some local colleges and universities have differing mask policies.

ETBU, for instance, requires unvaccinated individuals to wear masks. Any student who has not submitted documentation of vaccination will be considered unvaccinated, according to ETBU’s website. Kilgore College said they will not require masks on or off-campus, strongly encourage students to wear masks when working in close proximity with others, such as in labs or group projects.

UT Tyler keeps a record of active cases by day, which can be found here. On Aug. 17, UT recorded 13 active cases of COVID-19.

See below for links to COVID-19 policies for East Texas colleges and universities:

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