Officials prepare WVU fall students for return to Morgantown

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU officials offered more information about the fall return of students to the Morgantown campus Thursday.

According to the WVU COVID dashboard, nearly 8,000 students and staff members have been tested and 41 total positive tests have been reported, resulting in an overall positive rate of .52 percent.

WVU Dean of Public Health, Dr. Jeffery Coben cautioned the campus community about what a COVID negative test result means. He added following the guidelines should never be eased or taken lightly.

“If you test negative it doesn’t mean you’re good to go, it means you were good that day,”Dr. Coben said,”We all must continue to do everything we know to protect our campus community.”

Maryanne Reed, provost and vice president of academic affairs, detailed the assigned seating requirement for in-person learning and how that system will be used to keep COVID infected people out of the classroom.

“Instructors must report their seating charts at the beginning of the semester and they expected to keep records of attendance,”Reed said,”These may be used for contact tracing.”

Arnold Apartments has been reserved as a quarantine site and can house 170 students.

University officials have carefully designated the groups to return to campus, and Reed says each is important to the university community.

“For freshmen, this is their first time in college and they need more personalized attention and also they’re more vulnerable to dropping out of college,”Reed said,”Graduate and professional students contribute to our research mission, and some of out healthcare graduate students are working on the front lines.”

Dean of students, Dr. Corey Farris said the Re Center will be open when students return, but they hope to open in phases during the 15 week fall semester.

“We’ll work with our health folks to figure out of there’s a way to safely open, in phases the Rec Center when appropriate,”Dr. Farris said.

Students move in begins August 18 and the official return to class day is August 26.