Texas Tech announced some changes to plans, citing the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and Lubbock hospitals reaching capacity. Extracurricular activities scheduled through November that involve more than 10 people meeting in-person will be moved to online.
Athletics events and December graduation ceremonies will move forward as planned, with "enhanced safety requirements". Tailgating will not be allowed. The football team has one remaining home game, Dec. 5 against Kansas. The basketball season begins next week.
Here is the letter from university president Lawrence Schovanec:
As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our local community and after meeting jointly with the Presidents of the Faculty and Staff Senates and the President of the Student Government Association earlier this week, we have decided to implement additional limits on extracurricular activities. Consistent with the Lubbock County Medical Society recommendations issued last week, all events and gatherings of more than ten people scheduled between now and Monday, November 30, 2020, must be moved to an online format or postponed with exceptions addressed below. All classes between now and Thanksgiving break will continue as scheduled. All instruction will be online for the last three days of classes, as previously announced.
Texas Tech Athletics and December Commencement events will move forward with enhanced safety requirements. We will remain in close contact with city and county health officials as we monitor these events. In the next few days, we will be announcing more detail on new policies and enforcement of protocols, including cancellation of tailgating and strict enforcement of mask-wearing and significantly reduced seating capacities. We have communicated with December graduates and their families to inform them that we must be prepared to respond if conditions in our city continue to deteriorate and local health authorities recommend that we not proceed with in-person commencement exercises.
We recognize that staff, faculty, and students continue to deal with high levels of stress, wellness concerns, and work issues. I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff in dealing with challenges that this pandemic has presented. You have continued to educate and care for our students in spite of the difficulties in the work place and your personal lives. I appreciate deans, chairs, and supervisors' efforts in accommodating the challenges faced by faculty and staff. It is even more essential at this time that we continue to realign expectations for productivity and increased flexibility. Student mental health needs are particularly acute at this time. In discussion with the leadership of Student Government Association and our health care providers, we will continue to address additional ways to promote access to health support and services. A list of resources for staff, faculty, and students will be forthcoming. I should also add that we are now increasing the number of personnel to assist in contact tracing and quarantine checks, and an automated call system for wellness checks is in place.
At this time, we must protect our university community and reduce the stress on our front-line health care workers and our local health care infrastructure. I implore you to follow the guidance we laid out in the Texas Tech Commitment months ago; these efforts will help ensure our campus community's health and safety as well as the city we call home.