Bluefield College to continue temporary remote instruction through Friday, October 9

BLUEFIELD, VA (WOAY) – Bluefield College leadership made the decision to continue temporary remote instruction through Friday, October 9 and resume seated instruction on Monday, October 12 alongside Tazewell County Public Schools.

During this time, employees will work as directed by their respective Executive Leadership Team member. All student activities have been postponed. Athletics activities will be nuanced for each individual sport through the advisement of the team doctor and athletic trainers. This remote instruction period will allow for additional testing and deep cleaning of facilities around campus.

Following last week’s announcement to transition to remote instruction, additional testing and monitoring determined the extended two-week period. Since September 14, 34 students have tested positive for COVID-19 with the first students exiting quarantine this weekend.

Additionally, four employees and two graduate assistants have tested positive. At present, 100 students are either in quarantine or isolation.

“While it is easy to be shocked at the number in quarantine or isolation, it is important to remember this is a safety precaution,” said President David Olive. “It is our hope this two-week period will slow the number of students who are testing positive, as well as provide a safe environment that lessens the risk of exposure for our employees. Our protocols allow for these temporary pauses in seated instruction. It is our hope to resume in person instruction by October 12.”

Students who test positive for COVID-19 are immediately placed in quarantine while those who may have been exposed are placed in isolation until they test negative for the virus. Affected students are in the care of the College’s student development team.

The 29th Annual Duremdes Christian Emphasis Week at Bluefield College has been rescheduled for October 14-16 with artist and author Nigel Darius. All three-morning sessions will be live-streamed for public viewing, Wednesday through Friday, at 10:00 a.m. You can view the three-day event on our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmGz_1VWHr_d2KzH_bwWuJw

Bluefield College will conclude courses at the Thanksgiving holiday with exams being taken neither before leaving campus or remotely after the holiday. For additional information,  please contact the Office of Academic Affairs at 276.326.4203.

College leaders continue to pledge transparency with the Campus Community and share these situations as they arise. Decisions on responses and recommendations for adjustments to the semester continue to be made by the College’s COVID-19 Taskforce in concert with College leadership. This group collectively continues to monitor the virus and situations daily to make appropriate decisions. Bluefield College has planned to offer courses in-person and online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are able to attend classes either way and are able to quickly pivot solely to remote instruction.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Kasey at Rebecca.kasey@bluefield.edu.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com