A week after classes began at the University of Mississippi, there has been an uptick of COVID-19 cases.
Classes began Monday Aug. 23, and the university returned to full operations with a temporary mask mandate.
As of this week there are 103 active COVID-19 cases with 93 cases being students and the remaining cases faculty and staff.
On-campus events and activities were held such as sorority recruitment, welcome week and involvement fairs. These events were held in outdoor spaces and masks were not required.
The Board of Alderman issued a new mask mandate that went into effect on Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.. The new mandate requires all vaccinated and unvaccinated people to wear masks in all indoor facilities.
“Every person over six years of age in Oxford [must] wear face covering over nose and mouth, while inside a building open to the public,” Mayor of Oxford Robyn Tannehill said.
The Institutions of Higher Learning voted last week to not issue a vaccination mandate for all faculty and students in Mississippi public universities.
COVID-19 cases have been on the rise since school started.
Since March 16, the university has had 1,258 COVID-19 cases. In the past 7 days, there were 120 new confirmed cases.
Professors at the university have noticed an uptick in cases as well.
“I’m getting a lot of emails from students saying they have tested positive,” Associate Professor for the School of Journalism Mark Dolan said.
Auditorium style classrooms are being conducted at regular capacity with no social distancing guidelines in place.
As of last week, Lafayette county had 7,233 confirmed cases and a total of 129 deaths. However, 51% of the people in Lafayette County have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Forty-six percent of Lafayette County is fully vaccinated.
The national average is now 74.1%, with Mississippi administering over two million doses.
Vaccinations are still available at the Student Health Center and pop vaccination locations will be announced.