MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – More than a dozen WVU students have tested positive for the coronavirus, the university announced Wednesday night.
It said the positive tests came back on 14 students who have been living in private, off-campus residences since returning to campus.
“They’re just community-wide, just as we live in houses and apartments across the county,” WVU Dean of Students Dr. Corey Farris said on Talkline,”So do the 14 they have identified as being students.”
University officials don’t believe the students have been on campus. WVU closed its campus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic March 20.
Farris says they are working with the Monongalia County Health Department which is attempting to retrace where the students have been and whom they may have made contact with.
“We cannot reiterate enough that students need to be taking this virus seriously and follow all of executive orders issued by Gov. Jim Justice as well as health precaution guidelines outlined by our local health officials,” WVU Dean of Students Corey Farris said in a Wednesday night release. “To not do so is putting not only your fellow students’ health at risk, but the health and well-being of our entire Morgantown community.”
Farris adds closing the campus and moving to online classes was the right decision.
“Keeping people away and this social distancing we hear about, it’s cliche, but we’ve flattened the curve in Mon County by keeping students away and moving everything online,” Farris said. .
Farris says addressing the uncertainty created by the outbreak is very difficult for students, faculty and the community.
“Until this completely settles down, and we get treatments and things like that all of our summer school courses through August will be online,” Farris said.
Farris said there are about 100 foreign students on campus that either could not get back to their country or who had planned to continue their studies.
Further information about the students, including their conditions, was not released.
Any student that has tested positive is asked to call WVU Student Life at 304-293-5611.
WVU President Gordon Gee announced earlier Wednesday the extension of the closure of the campus through June 30. Summer school classes will be conducted online. WVU went to a distance learning model to finish the spring semester on March 30.