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University of Tennessee at Knoxville reinstates masks mandate to adjust to federal funding after lifting it lower than 24 hours in the past

“Despite our very low Covid-19 numbers on campus, we are working to maintain compliance with applicable laws,” University of Tennessee at Knoxville chancellor Donde Plowman wrote in an open letter to colleagues that addressed confusion across the change.

“We must put a mask requirement back in place for most UT Knoxville buildings, which we plan to do effective Monday, November 22,” Plowman mentioned, to ensure that the college to stay compliant with the chief order.

UT System President Randy Boyd despatched an electronic mail Monday night to staff lifting the masks mandate to adjust to a brand new Tennessee regulation prohibiting masks and vaccine mandates, which turned efficient Friday, in accordance with the letter.

But UT Knoxville is a federal contractor, in accordance with Plowman, and the Biden administration issued a federal government order requiring staff of federal contractors be vaccinated by January 4, in addition to CDC steerage — together with masks carrying — be adopted in buildings of federal contractors.

“Because federal funding is at stake, the new state law provides federal contractors with the ability to apply for an exemption to the state law, and President Boyd applied on behalf of the UT System to the state comptroller. We received notice of the exemption yesterday, shortly after President Boyd’s email was sent,” Plowman wrote.

The chancellor mentioned the masks mandate will not go into impact till Monday as a result of the Tennessee legal professional common has filed a lawsuit difficult the federal government order.

CNN has reached out to different faculties throughout the University of Tennessee system to ask in the event that they intend to reinstate their varied masks necessities.

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