MARSHALL, Texas (KETK) – East Texas Baptist University implemented a temporary mask mandate ahead of the new semester.
University President, J. Blair Blackburn made the announcement on Jan. 7. Everyone on campus will have to wear a mask until Jan. 21 regardless of their vaccination status.
Blackburn said the institution is making these changes due to “the highly contagious strain of the omicron variant and in an effort to protect each of you and your families.”
The university also wants to prevent the spread of the virus. Masks will be required on campus, in offices and on campus vehicles. They will not be required inside residents’ rooms.
The state of Texas is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations. As of Jan. 9 there were 9,872 people hospitalized with the virus. The state is on track to break the previous hospitalization record from Jan. 11, 2021 of 14,218. An all time high number of Texans are also testing positive for COVID-19 everyday.
“This commitment to active University life has not changed and will not change regardless of the ongoing health challenges in our country. Coronavirus may be a part of society for now, but we adjust, we flex, we go—whatever it takes! Together, we resolve to enjoy the abundant life God has granted us through our faith. Without fear, informed by truth and wisdom, we will persevere,” wrote the university.”