Nacogdoches, Texas (KETK) – Many East Texas colleges are scheduled to head back to the classroom on Monday. However, as students prepare to hit the books, most are hitting the keyboard instead.

Heading back to the classroom in fall 2021 was business, as usual. Although, it seems to be a different story for those coming back after winter break. Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches is enforcing the same protocols as they did in the fall.

“We’re asking them to get boosted; we are asking them to wear masks,” said Graham Garner, the Chief Marketing Communications Officer. “Of course, these are all voluntary measures, but they are important ones for protecting our community and the individuals so that we can continue to offer the in-person education that so many students really want to have.”

The university bases its decision on case and contact tracing numbers reported amongst students.

“We ask any students, faculty and staff to report any positive tests they have whether that’s one that they do as like an at-home test or whether that’s administered elsewhere,” said Garner.

According to the SFA website, Lumberjacks are required to report when they have taken a COVID-19 test.

“We’re fortunate that Nacogdoches and the surrounding area does not seem to be experiencing the difficulties that some of the other communities are experiencing, but we are keeping a very close eye on that,” said Garner.

Garner says the numbers are looking similar to the ones reported in the fall.

“We recognize that this is a challenge for everybody as it has been since the start of the pandemic,” said Garner. “We really need people to take care of themselves and to think about other people as well. So we’re thankful for everyone who has made those efforts and continues to do that.”

SFA is set to return to the classroom on January 12.