WVU announces plans for return to campus for fall semester, masks to be required

The downtown campus as seen from across the river in Granville, Friday, June 14, 2019. (WVUPhoto/Jenny Shephard)

MORGANTOWN, WV (WOAY) – Students will return to West Virginia University’s three campuses to begin fall classes on Wednesday, Aug. 19, the University announced today (June 3).

Students will remain on campus, with no fall break, through Nov. 24, then depart for Thanksgiving Break, not returning to campus for the rest of the fall semester. There will be one week of online instruction following Thanksgiving Break, with finals also conducted online.

Spring classes will begin on campus on Jan 19, continuing with no spring break through April 30, and finals on campus from May 3-7.

A separate, phased schedule for staff and faculty to return to campus will be released at a later date.

“We have given careful consideration to the wisdom of returning to campus while the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us,” President Gordon Gee said. “However, it is clear our students want to be with their professors and fellow Mountaineers. We are taking every precaution and making every preparation possible so they can do that safely.”

Under Gee’s direction, a steering committee and multiple task forces began developing plans for a fall return in early April. The groups are developing protocols and precautions for personal safety, campus safety, as well as community safety.

Those precautions will include mandatory testing for all students, faculty and staff before returning to campus; requiring masks to be worn while on campus, including in classes; social distancing; increased frequency of cleaning; limits on travel and visitation to campus; and a variety of other actions. Additionally, all faculty, staff and students will be required to complete an COVID-19 education course prior to Aug. 11.

A more detailed outline of steps being taken, as well as schedule of the Conversations, is available at http://www.wvu.edu/return-to-campus.

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