Liberty University has resumed in-person classes with social distancing measures after an outbreak of COVID-19 at the college campus temporarily shut down in-person gatherings.
The Virginia-based university experienced an increase in COVID-19 cases last month, with school officials deciding to place restrictions at the school for two weeks. Classes were moved online, and large in-person gatherings were prohibited.
Last Friday, the university ended its two-week mitigation period, and classes resumed on Monday in person.
“Liberty is resuming classes and indoor gatherings in a balanced way that both allows members of the campus community to select the university experiences they desire and respects the rights and responsibilities of individuals to make basic health decisions about vaccination and mask usage themselves,” the university stated in an email.
“Students and faculty are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings. The university will continue to offer a digital instruction option for students for a period of time; special permission to attend virtually will not be required during this time.”
For now, Liberty’s convocation events are scheduled to be held outdoors at its football stadium, and indoor activities and events will operate at a 50 percent reduced capacity.
“The university will still require quarantine for positive COVID-19 cases,” continued the statement. “The university will continue to encourage social hygiene practices such as physical distancing and mask-wearing where helpful.”
Liberty entered the two-week mitigation period after 124 students and 35 staff tested positive for COVID-19.
The Lynchburg-based college has about 15,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff members.
“This period is simply a temporary dial back of some larger indoor activities. Students will NOT be confined to their rooms and are free to use campus facilities and dining venues as usual. The quarantine will only occur for those students with new positive cases as well as those who have been determined to have direct exposure to individuals who have tested positive. All others are free to move about and enjoy our beautiful campus as usual,” the university said in a statement.
Liberty University Suspends Some Large In-Person Gatherings after 160 Students, Faculty Contract COVID-19
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.