Liberty University resumed in-person classes Monday after closing its classrooms over a two-week mitigation period to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus.
"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," the university said in a statement posted on its website on Friday.
The Lynchburg, VA-based Christian university said it will still require quarantine for positive COVID-19 cases and will continue to encourage social hygiene practices such as physical distancing and mask-wearing.
According to Lynchburg's The News & Advance, more than 2% of residential students have active cases and about 6.5%, or 1,278 students, are in quarantine.
The school's COVID-19 dashboard updated on Sept. 8 listed 464 active cases among its students and faculty which number close to 24,000 people combined.
The university will also operate at a 50% reduced capacity for indoor sports, recreation activities, and campus events with virtual streaming options available when possible.
"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," the school said.
"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," the university continued.
As CBN News reported on Aug. 31, Liberty responded to a spike in COVID cases by announcing a "temporary mitigation period" in order to slow the spread of the virus on its campus.
After students returned to campus on Aug. 24, the school saw a spike in active COVID-19 cases from 127 on Aug. 25 to 535 cases by Aug. 31.
Earlier this month, the university offered free "first dose" vaccinations to students with the second shot availability scheduled for Oct. 5.
But Liberty is one of the few colleges in Virginia that has not mandated vaccinations or masking indoors or in classrooms, according to The News & Advance.