This morning motorists in Lafayette might notice a little more traffic in and around the big parking lots of Cajun Field on Congress Street. You might also notice that many young people have no idea how to cross the street safely on Johnston Street near campus. Seriously, they put those crossing signals there for a reason.

Today marks the beginning of the fall semester at the University of Louisiana. While there is always an air of excitement anytime thousands of students descend on the Lafayette campus this year that excitement could be tempered with a little more concern.

You see when students left campus for the summer break, COVID appeared to be, dare I say, under control. The attitude was very positive back in late May and early June as vaccinations were rolling out and case counts were dropping. But then, the Delta Variant of the disease began making headway into our culture.

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That variant has been responsible for a record number of new cases of COVID on almost a daily basis since the beginning of August. Unfortunately, the Delta Variant appears to be more troublesome for younger people than the original version of the virus was.

This has prompted officials across the state and the University of Louisiana system to implement special COVID protocols and policies. The most notable is the mask requirement. All students, faculty, staff, and guests will be required to mask up while on campus.

But the policies and protocols don't just stop at masks, in fact, there is quite a bit of information anyone who has business on campus at UL would want to know. Fortunately, the University has put all of that information in one handy link. You can view that link, right here. 

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University officials will be monitoring the COVID situation on campus daily and should any changes in the policy be needed they will make those changes as they feel necessary. The bottom line is this. Whatever you've been doing to keep yourself and those around you healthy, keep doing that.

Students may still sign up for the Shot at $100 by getting vaccinated against coronavirus on campus. There is even a special facility set up on campus where students can sign up for the jab and get the money. We encourage you to ask your doctor if the vaccine is right for you and of course, we hope you'll talk to mom and dad about it as well.

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