ATU Implementing Mandatory Face Coverings Indoors

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Face coverings will be mandatory inside all Arkansas Tech University buildings effective Thursday, Aug. 12, and continuing until further notice.

ATU students, faculty, staff and guests will be required to wear face coverings regardless of their vaccination status when indoors in a congregational setting, including classrooms, meeting rooms, building lobbies and hallways. Faculty and staff members who are alone in their offices and students who are in their residence hall rooms and on-campus apartments will not be required to wear face coverings.

“The decision to implement mandatory face coverings at this time is responsive to the recent ruling by Judge Tim Fox regarding Act 1002 of 2021, the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the record number of COVID-related hospitalizations in our state,” said ATU President Dr. Robin E. Bowen. “Arkansas Tech has relied upon the advice of medical, scientific and public health experts to guide our policies and procedures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ATU COVID-19 task force will continue to monitor CDC and Arkansas Department of Health guidance on a weekly basis so that we may engage in best practices, do our part to help limit the spread of the virus and assist in alleviating the current strain on our state’s health care systems. We will also continue to monitor developments relative to Act 1002 of 2021 and take any further steps necessary to comply with State of Arkansas law.”

ATU students will move into residence halls beginning Thursday, Aug. 12. Freshman orientation is scheduled to begin Saturday, Aug. 14. The first day of class for the fall 2021 semester will be Wednesday, Aug. 18.

As of the beginning of the fall 2021 semester, indoor gatherings at ATU are limited to 50 or fewer people per guidelines published in the ATU COVID-19 Management Plan.

“Our ability to adjust our policy to allow larger groups to gather indoors will depend upon a number of factors,” said Bowen. “The ATU COVID-19 task force will consider vaccination rates within the ATU community, the amount of face covering usage that is observed and our ability to maintain a low number of active COVID-19 cases when evaluating that policy. Becoming vaccinated, wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing when possible are our best tools in the effort to achieve as much normalcy as possible this fall.”

For more information about ATU’s response to and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit