Liberty University students prep for early return to campus as university relies on same cooperation level as the fall for health, safety

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Liberty University will welcome all residential students back to campus on Friday, Jan. 15 which is 10 days before in-person classes begin.

Dr. Keith Anderson, executive director of Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives, says the early arrival will give the university the necessary time to assess the situation in a lower-risk environment, as well as for students to acclimate to the campus’ health and safety guidelines.

“This will be a phased reintegration into the Liberty bubble. We recognize that students are coming from different places, so before we put them all in a larger congregate setting, like a classroom or dining hall, we want to identify who may be carrying the virus, then isolate them appropriately.”

Dr. Keith Anderson, Executive Director of Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives

For the initial 10-day period, all campus dining locations will be takeout only and there will be no in-person classes, meetings, or social gatherings.

Students will not be confined to their rooms upon arrival and will be free to use campus facilities as in the Fall 2020 term as long as they abide by a mask policy and physical distancing guidelines.

The LaHaye Recreation & Fitness Center will function under normal hours (with limited capacity), and the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center and Liberty Mountain Trail System will also remain open for recreational purposes.

Students are advised to keep their close contacts to a minimum number during this initial phase to minimize the ripple effect on others of a person with COVID-19 returning to campus.

Besides students, parents of residential students, employees and those doing university business, the university will continue to be closed to the public to reduce the risk of bringing cases of COVID-19 to campus.

No Trespassing signs remain posted at all entrances and major intersections on campus.

Once in-person classes begin, Dr. Anderson said students should not notice any changes to campus operations from the Fall 2020 semester.

“We are trying to make everything as normal as possible under COVID,” Dr. Anderson said. “After having successful Spring (2020) and Fall (2020) semesters, with breaks in between, we have enough experience to feel confident moving into the Spring of 2021.”

Dr. Anderson said that while other schools have already resorted to mostly remote instruction to end the school year, there are some universities that have emulated Liberty’s example.

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