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Even though the State of Texas' statewide mask mandate ends on March 10, a number of public school districts and higher education institutions are continuing with their COVID-19 protocols.

On Friday afternoon, the latest institution to make an announcement was South Plains College. SPC will continue to require face coverings for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors, until further notice.

SPC will also require social distancing to continue at all of their campuses.

SPC's official statement, "South Plains College will continue to require face coverings, maintain social distancing, and practice safe health protocol for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors.  We believe this decision will help ensure our goal of maintaining a safe and healthy environment at all of our campuses."

Texas Tech University made a similar announcement on Friday, via an e-mail from President Lawrence Schovanec.

The Texas A&M University System is also continuing to have students, staff, faculty and visitors wear face masks, and maintain social distancing, at all of their campuses; including West Texas A&M in Canyon.

A statement from TAMU System Chancellor John Sharp, reads in part, "With the end of the spring semester only 6-8 weeks away, A&M system members should continue to follow system guidance, “Guidance for Spring Semester of 2021 and Related Issues” issued in October 2020 on testing, face coverings, classes, physical distancing, occupancy limitations, co-curricular activities, among other matters.

"Based on our assessment of current conditions, this step will help us successfully complete the semester and is consistent with Gov. Greg Abbott’s order that masking and other protocols should be decided by our institutions, not by the state.

"At the conclusion of the spring semester, we anticipate System guidance being lifted so that all rules, procedures and practices regarding classes, travel, face coverings, testing, etc., will be determined locally at your institution informed by your conditions and reviewed by the System.

"The System may provide additional guidance this semester or going forward, as conditions warrant," said Chancellor Sharp.

The University of Texas, Baylor, Rice, and many other institutions of higher learning are also keep their mask mandates, and COVID-19 protocols in place through the Spring 2021 Semester.

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