By Grace Welsh —

For University of Louisville students and staff alike, this fall semester may give some a little deja vu.

With COVID-19 cases steadily climbing to the level they were during the winter of 2020, U of L has reinstated a mask mandate for all students and staff in indoor settings. Jefferson County has seen over 3,000 new cases during the week of August 22 alone, and the number continues to grow due to the high transmissibility of the Delta variant.

Louisville students have wondered what this means for their upcoming semester, especially now that most classes, clubs, and events are meeting in person for the first time since spring of 2020. John Karman, U of L’s Executive Director of Communications at the Office of Communications and Marketing said, “We’ve welcomed our students back to campus, and clubs and events have returned with them.”

“Our intention is a full, on-campus semester, but we will continue to follow CDC and state health department guidelines. We have proven that we can pivot to other means of instruction if necessary,” he said, in reference to both virtual and distance education. In May, Vince Tyra, Vice President/Director for Intercollegiate Athletics, announced that Cardinal Stadium will be at full capacity for the 2021 football season. In addition, the university revealed in June that all home games for the men’s and women’s basketball team will also be at 100% capacity.

There is currently no mandate for students and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19, however the university has been urging its members to do so. “U of L students, faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to get [it]. It is safe and effective and our best defense against the pandemic,” Karman said. As of August 30th, 66.2% of students and 70% of staff are vaccinated; if both populations can reach 80% vaccinated, the campus-wide mask mandate will be lifted.

Louisville’s starting Quarterback Malik Cunningham.

In an effort to encourage individuals to get the vaccine, U of L has begun a social media campaign featuring prominent student-athletes and the slogan “I Got the Shot. Join the Team.

Professors have also included vaccine and mask information on their syllabi, and U of L’s official website highlights their coronavirus protocol page that features information on vaccines, testing, travel guidelines, statistical data and FAQs.

For more information on UofL’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: https://louisville.edu/coronavirus/health-protocols

Graphics // U of L FSL Twitter //

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