Aug. 30, 2021 -- Liberty University in Virginia announced a temporary campus-wide quarantine due to a spike in COVID-19 cases among students and staff.
The quarantine began Monday and is scheduled to end on Sept. 10, according to The Associated Press. The university has about 15,000 students and 5,000 faculty and staff on campus.
The university reported 159 active COVID-19 cases, with 124 student cases and 35 faculty and staff cases, according to the latest update on the school’s dashboard. The week before, 40 students and staff had tested positive.
The current spike surpasses the previous high of 141 cases in September 2020, when nearly 1,200 people connected with the campus were quarantined, according to NBC News.
“Liberty University has been dutifully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on campus. As a response to the increased rates, Liberty University has made the decision to enact a temporary mitigation period,” according to an announcement on the university’s website.
Liberty University started the fall semester last week without vaccine requirements, masking guidelines, distancing protocols, or capacity limits in buildings.
On Thursday, the university changed its protocols by enacting the quarantine, moving classes online, and suspending large indoor gatherings, the AP reported. Outdoor events will continue as scheduled, and worship services will move to the stadium. Indoor dining locations will provide a takeout option and expand outdoor seating
“The university will continue to encourage social hygiene practices that aid in reducing the spread of disease, including physical distancing and wearing a mask,” according to the announcement. “The university will also be announcing upcoming vaccine clinics to be offered on campus.”