The new university protocols, announced by ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn, will remain in effect for the first two weeks of the semester. “Since the onset of the pandemic, East Texas Baptist University has remained strong, stable, and persevered with resilience to respond to our Christ-centered call and to provide our students with a captivating and exciting experience on campus.” Blackburn said in a statement. . âThis commitment to active university life has not and will not change regardless of the current health challenges in our country. The coronavirus may be part of society right now, but we are adjusting, we are adapting, we are going – whatever it takes. Together we decide to enjoy the abundant life that God has given us through our faith. Without fear, informed by truth and wisdom, we will persevere. “
Blackburn said the college’s mask requirement will remain in place as students return to campus on Monday. Wearing a mask is compulsory for everyone on campus, regardless of vaccination status. âSince the onset of this national health crisis, ETBU has been committed to the health and safety of our university community while providing an in-person educational experience on campus,â said Blackburn. âBy being proactive and careful, we have kept infection rates within our ETBU family very low, and we have been able to maintain dynamic bonds with each other and an active life on campus. We remain true to this commitment. I appreciate your support and diligence in keeping our campus community and loved ones safe while wearing a mask. “
Blackburn said the campus will reassess the situation on January 21 and, based on the local case count, provide updated COVID-19 protocols if necessary. The university is also hosting a free concert open to the public on January 12. The concert will include a night of worship led by The Voice contestant, Blessing Offor. The concert will take place at 7 p.m. at the Baker Chapel of the Rogers Spiritual Life Center. Offor will also be presented in the university chapel services the same morning for ETBU professors, staff and students.
“All teachers and students will wear face covers in classrooms,” the announcement reads. âAll campus members will wear masks in campus buildings, offices and institutional vehicles, unless actively eating / drinking, regardless of immunization status. Face coverings will not be required in a campus resident’s room / unit. The mask requirement states that everyone on campus must wear a mask inside campus buildings and offices until January 21.
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