New legislation will prohibit Austin Peay from requiring masks on campus. | THE ALL STATE ARCHIVES

New legislation from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee will prohibit Austin Peay from requiring individuals to wear masks on its main campus.

Lee is expected to sign House Bill 9077 today, which would no longer allow the university’s mask mandate to be in effect.

“While the university can no longer require masks inside buildings, everyone is expected to respect an individual’s choice to wear a mask or not,” the school said in a university-wide announcement.

The mask mandate will still be implemented on the Fort Campbell campus, since it is not APSU property.

APSU reinstated its indoor mask mandate on Aug. 11. Since then, the university has operated under normal campus condition, according to its website.

“As you have perhaps seen in the other message to campus, the lay of the land has changed for us regarding what we can do to help contain the spread of COVID on campus,” said President Michael Licari. “Per the new law, APSU must remove the mask mandate.

“Members of the campus community may continue to wear masks if they choose, but may not ask or require others to do so. Likewise, those who choose to wear a mask should not be asked to take it off.”

The last day of classes for the fall semester is Dec. 10. As of Thursday, Nov. 11, there were 23 positive cases and 34 quarantined students at APSU.