Virginia's Liberty University Announces Campus-Wide Quarantine amid Rise in COVID Cases

The temporary quarantine will begin on Monday, Aug. 30, and last until Friday, Sept. 10

Liberty University is pictured in Lynchburg, Virginia, on March 31, 2020. - Virginia's governor on March, 31, 2020 ordered all higher education institutions to halt any in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic, a move likely directed at Liberty University, which initially declined to stop all on-campus teaching.
Photo: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AFP via Getty

Liberty University has announced a campus-wide quarantine amid a rise in positive COVID-19 cases.

On Friday, the Virginia-based institution issued a statement that the temporary quarantine will begin on Monday, Aug. 30, and last until Friday, Sept. 10.

During that time period, all residential classes will instead be done virtually and large indoor gatherings will be suspended. Outdoor events, such as the opening game for the school's football team on Sept. 4, are set to go on as planned.

As of Saturday morning, there are 159 known active cases on campus, with 124 being among students and the other 35 made up by faculty and staff, according to the university's online COVID-19 dashboard.

In total, the university has about 15,000 students and 5,000 faculty or staff, the Associated Press reported.

"We are taking the necessary steps and actions to lighten the burden to our medical service providers, the local hospital resources, and to do our part to keep our community safe," said Keith Anderson, executive director of Liberty's Student Health Center and Wellness Initiatives. "We understand the severity of the pandemic and desire to act swiftly to ensure the health and safety of our campus."

Ruben Erickson, a student at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, holds a bag of takeout food which he acquired from an on-campus dining hall on March 31, 2020. - Virginia's governor on March, 31, 2020 ordered all higher education institutions to halt any in-person instruction amid the coronavirus pandemic, a move likely directed at Liberty University, which initially declined to stop all on-campus teaching.
Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/AFP via Getty

"Through collective collaboration with our on-campus partners, Central Virginia Family Physicians (CVFP), and our Liberty University Health & Wellness professionals, we are attending to our asymptomatic and symptomatic campus members as quickly and thoroughly as possible," he added.

Preventative measures against COVID-19 — such as masks and social distancing — are being encouraged on campus, the university added, though they are not required for either students or members of the faculty and staff.

The school also said that free vaccine clinics will also be coming soon, though the COVID-19 vaccine is similarly not required.

Elsewhere, Liberty University announced other measures that are being taken against the virus, including allowing professors to continue utilizing remote work. The school also said they will add more outdoor space and takeout options for the dining hall.

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