Liberty University to resume in-person learning, encourage masks and vaccinations as COVID-19 mitigation period ends Friday


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Liberty University’s campus-wide quarantine period is coming to an end on Friday, but with the university still reporting more than 400 active coronavirus cases and more than 1,800 people under quarantine as of Wednesday, school officials say they plan to prioritize “both health and freedom” by keeping some health and safety policies in place moving forward.

According to the university, the following guidelines will go into effect after the temporary COVID-19 mitigation period concludes on Friday, Sept. 10 and will remain in effect until further notice:

  • All classes will resume in-person instruction on Monday, Sept. 13 with a digital instruction component.
  • Masks and physical distancing are strongly encouraged — especially where signage is posted and when visiting local churches and businesses — but not required.
  • Indoor sports, events, and activities will be limited to 50 percent space capacity.
  • Convocation and Campus Community will take place in Williams Stadium until further notice.
  • Digital attendance options are provided wherever possible when attendance is mandatory.
  • Vaccinations are encouraged, so clinics will be available for students, faculty, and staff.

You can read the full statement issued by Liberty University on Friday below:

On Friday, Liberty University informed students, faculty, and staff of the campus health and safety measures that will be in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 after the university’s two-week mitigation period ends today.

During the mitigation period, classes have been held online and large indoor gatherings suspended. 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.

All residential classes will resume in-person on Monday, Sept. 13, as scheduled. 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.

Weather permitting, Convocation and Campus Community will continue to be held outdoors at Williams Stadium. The university will operate at a 50% reduced capacity for indoor sports, recreation activities, and campus events with virtual streaming options available when possible. Takeout and outdoor dining options will continue, and a delivery mobile app has been introduced.  Details about these changes are available on Liberty’s COVID-19 Response website.

The university will still require quarantine for positive COVID-19 cases. The university will continue to encourage social hygiene practices such as physical distancing and mask-wearing where helpful.

Liberty showed its appreciation to members of the Liberty family for their cooperation during the last two weeks and asked them to be mindful of others as they study, work, and live as responsible community partners during this pandemic.

“Thank you for doing your part to mitigate the spread of this disease. This is a matter of personal responsibility, and we ask that you continue to take the right steps to protect yourself and others.
At Liberty University, we recognize we are part of a larger community that is generally pursuing life and business as usual without vaccine mandates, mask requirements, or attendance caps on events. We can’t imagine Liberty would make an important health difference locally by imposing campus restrictions and mandates on our people who also eat, shop, recreate, and work in the larger community. We are all in this together and will come through this pandemic as a community, sharing equally in sacrifices and burdens.
While we value personal liberty and resume in-person classes next week, let us individually be Christlike examples and good neighbors as we interact with those who may be more vulnerable in our community. We trust the Liberty family to proceed with love and respect.”

Liberty is carefully reviewing the details of new developments at the federal and state levels regarding vaccine and mask mandates and, as always, will make adjustments as required.

Scott Lamb, Liberty University Office of Communications and Public Engagement

Liberty University also updated its mitigation policies for academics, athletics, indoor venues and competitions for club sports, campus logistics, campus recreation, dining, the Office of Spiritual Development, and student affairs, which are available on the university’s coronavirus page.

Meanwhile, Liberty University’s coronavirus dashboard update from Wednesday, Sept. 8 says there are 463 active coronavirus cases reported within the previous 10 days where the quarantine period has not ended. Of those active cases, 399 are students while 64 are faculty and staff.

This is a slight decline from the 488 active cases reported by the university on Wednesday, Sept 1.

However, between Sept. 1 and Sept. 8, the number of people instructed to quarantine has grown from 1,537 to 1,834. More specifically, the Liberty University dashboard says 1,278 on-campus students are in quarantine while 402 commuters and 154 employees have been instructed to quarantine in the most recent update.

In addition, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), record-shattering highs for single-day spikes in coronavirus cases have been reported in Lynchburg two days in a row, with 217 new cases reported on Thursday, Sept. 9 and 289 new cases reported on Friday, Sept. 10.

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