NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — From vaccine mandates to wearing masks in classrooms, Nashville-area college rules for the COVID-19 pandemic are spread across the board.
Of Nashville's flagship universities, only Tennessee State University will require masks this upcoming semester for all students. Vanderbilt University, Fisk University and Trevecca Nazarene University will not require masks inside the classroom, according to those respective schools' COVID-19 website pages. At Vanderbilt, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask, while people who are not vaccinated should continue to wear a mask.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Belmont University issued a campus-wide mask mandate regardless of vaccination status.
Unlike other universities, Trevecca is providing financial incentive for its students to get vaccinated. It is also requiring students show proof of vaccination or submit a negative COVID test before returning to in-person classes at Trevecca. Masks are optional but encouraged.
Lipscomb University has options for student requirements: proof of completing the required series of COVID-19 vaccinations at least two weeks before returning to campus, a negative PCR COVID-19 test taken within five days prior to moving into the dorm or attending any on-campus classes, or evidence of a positive COVID-19 test result within the last 90 days but before the last 14 days prior to returning to campus.
The only school in Nashville mandating and requiring masks is American Baptist College.
Outside of Nashville, university giants like Middle Tennessee State University and Austin Peay State University have implemented mask mandates for students, staff and faculty during the last week for upcoming campus activities and for the start of school.
Community colleges like Motlow State, Vol State, Nashville State and Columbia State Community Colleges will also require face coverings inside their buildings. CSCC will also have classrooms options, from hybrid classes with in-person, live streams and online formats.
Smaller schools like Cumberland University, The University of South and University of Tennessee-Martin will also mandate face-coverings on their campuses. Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville will encourage mask-wearing for those who feel at risk. It will also encourage COVID-19 vaccinations, with free vaccinations and testing readily available on campus.