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U of Tennessee in Apparent Flip-Flop on Masks

November 18, 2021

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville will continue its mask mandate—despite a lifting of the mandate by the system, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

System president Randy Boyd lifted the mandate on Monday night, citing a law signed by Governor Bill Lee, a Republican.

But Donde Plowman, chancellor of the Knoxville campus, wrote to the campus that the university had obtained an exemption to comply with an order that covers federal contractors. She wrote to the campus that, effective Monday, a mask mandate would still be in place.

“I know these changing conditions are confusing, and we will continue to update you as we know more. Thank you for your understanding as we continue to navigate challenging times. I appreciate all the work you do to make our university a success every day,” she said.

At the university’s Chattanooga campus, officials wrote that all “are welcome and encouraged to continue wearing face masks inside buildings,” despite the mask mandate lift.

AT UT Southern, there are no federal contracts, so the mask mandate will be lifted.

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