Friday, March 31, 2023

MTSU Removes Mask Mandate


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On Tuesday at 6:51 p.m., President Sidney McPhee informed Middle Tennessee State University students that masks are no longer required inside campus facilities.

In an email, McPhee stated, “Your continued vigilance contributed to the decline in recorded cases we now see in our county and state.”

After a significant spike in mid-September, Rutherford County’s seven-day average has lowered to 53 cases as of Nov. 8, with Tennessee’s average being 933 cases.

Neither of these numbers is the lowest the seven-day average has been; however, it is in a downward trend.

“We strongly encourage our students, faculty and staff who have not been vaccinated to consider taking this precaution,” McPhee continued, “as it remains your greatest defense against the COVID-19 virus.”

Rutherford County’s population remains at a vaccination rate of around 47 percent and is steadily increasing, and the rate resides similarly for the state of Tennessee.

MTSU students’ thoughts are varied concerning the mask mandate removal.

Senior at MTSU, Grace Godowns, said, “It makes no sense to end the mask mandate this close to the end of the semester. I think that it is very irresponsible on MTSU’s part.”

Godowns continued, “The main reason our numbers have been so low is because of the mask mandate. Without it, those that remain unvaccinated will continue the spread and make cases spike again.”

However, MTSU student Matt Johnson disagreed.

“I think we’re finally ready to live life normally again…Covid is never going away. We just have to accept that,” Johnson stated. “We’ll probably get vaccines every year when it’s covid season, just like the flu…I think we’ll be okay.”

Regarding vaccines, McPhee ended the email as mentioned earlier, reminding students that vaccines are available at MTSU Student Health Services. Accompanying vaccines, booster shots are now available as well for those who meet specific criteria.

More information can be found on the Student Health Services’ website.

To contact News Editor Toriana Williams, email

For more news, visit, or follow us on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines or on Twitter at @Sidelines_News 

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