Different universities vary in their approaches. Over 1,058 university campuses require covid vaccination for students and/or staff, though UTK is not one of them.

As of Sep. 8, UTK has an indoor mask mandate, no reported surveillance of cases, and no vaccination requirement. It is hosting football games and other events with no social distancing or masking requirement, though people may choose to wear masks.

It can be instructive to compare UTK’s policies and data to elsewhere. UTK has identified Lousiana State U as one of its comparable peer institutions, and LSU has a fair bit of data on their dashboard. This info is current as of Sept. 30, 2021. Numbers on cases and tests to date are from May 9, 2021 so only this academic year is included.

Measure UTK LSU
Population (students + employees) 36,600 39,000
Tests given on campus 1,138* 9,225
Total positive cases reported 914 787
Number of people vaccinated unknown 30,692
Wastewater testing unknown 25 locations (14 w virus detected)
Arriving student requirements none negative test ≤ 5 days before arriving, or covid vaccination, or positive test ≤90 days before arriving
Vaccination for students not required required with limited exceptions (requires monthly testing)
Vaccination for faculty and staff not required required with limited exceptions (requires monthly testing)
Football stadium requirements none proof of vaccination or negative PCR test ≤ 72 hours before entry
Number of deaths unknown unknown
Number of hospitalizations unknown unknown