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Liberty University Moves to Online Classes to Slow Spread of COVID-19 on Campus

08-31-2021
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Liberty University. (Image credit: Erika Fletcher/Unsplash)

Liberty University has announced a "temporary mitigation period" in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 on its campus.

The campus-wide quarantine began Monday and will last until Sept. 10, according to several news outlets. 

"This is NOT a campus-wide lockdown," the Lynchburg, Va.-based university said in a statement. "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 school has about 15,000 students and 5,000 faculty or staff on campus.

There were 159 known active cases among students, faculty, and staff as of Tuesday, according to the university's online COVID-19 dashboard. Of those cases, 124 cases were among students.

"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."

As the university began its fall semester last week, the university, which doesn't require vaccination, lifted building capacity restrictions and distancing and masking requirements. The university changed its protocol late Thursday to enact the campus-wide quarantine, moving classes online and suspending large indoor gatherings.

Outdoor events, including the Sept. 4 football game against Campbell, will continue as scheduled and worship services will move to the stadium.

The university will encourage masking and social distancing and host vaccine clinics on campus, but it didn't indicate it would mandate those measures.

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