Some COVID-19 restrictions lifted at UT-Knoxville after 10-plus days of case reductions

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Active COVID-19 cases on the University of Tennessee campus have dropped by more than 500 during the last 10 days, according to the latest numbers released Friday on the school’s internet dashboard.

In response, Chancellor Donde Plowman announced during the Friday update that some restrictions on campus would be lifted beginning on Monday.

Three restrictions were lifted. The Student Recreational and Fitness Center, better known as TRECS, will reopen with normal hours; indoor events on campus will be allowed to resume provided they follow the Knox County Health Department’s guidelines, including limiting gatherings to 25 people per 900 feet of space; and study spaces will be reopened, also with capacity restrictions.

“We want to be able to lift additional restrictions, but we need further information to do so,” Plowman said. “The data from our comprehensive testing efforts in the residence halls and the Greek houses will be critical in informing whether we can lift restrictions going forward.”

The restriction on visitors to residential halls and Greek houses will remain in place and a word of caution was also given concerning the John C. Hodges Library.

Provost John Zomchick said low-mask usage among library visitors, especially in the afternoon, is becoming concerning.

“We need to keep that library safe for the use of our entire university community,” Zomchick said. “We can’t afford to have it become a site of community transmission which could force us to close the building and deprive faculty and students from having a place to hold appropriate and safe and essential scholarly activities.”

There are 119 active COVID-19 cases and 458 people in isolation as of Thursday at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, according to the latest data released by the school.

UT-Knoxville reported 15 new cases Thursday.

There are 241 nonresidential students, 171 residential students and 46 university employees in isolation.

The active case total at UT peaked at 680 on Sept. 13 and has steadily declined since then. Sept. 13 also marked a peak for self-isolations, 2,175.

University officials have reported 1,336 recovered cases since June 8.

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