WVU officials offer details on the return to campus

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – In the most recent Return to Campus Conversation WVU officials shared additional details about the guidelines to return to campus.

Move in for students returning to the Morgantown campus will continue until Saturday, August 22 and classes will begin Wednesday, August 26.

Prior to reporting to class, or work for staff members, all are required to take a COVID-19, COVID-19 education module, wear a mask and agree to comply with state, local and university mandates.

“Our success this fall is going to be determined by the willingness of out faculty, staff and students to learn that we are living through a pandemic that is very serious,”WVU vice president of strategic initiatives, Rob Alsop said,”We need to be thoughtful and abide by the rules that we’ve set in place.”

The PRT will be closed, so students will be asked to use either a WVU bus or one operated by the Mountain Line. All bus riders, including the driver must wear a mask and maintain social distancing. Riders will be asked to sit in every other row in a checkerboard pattern, avoid touching surfaces and use hand sanitizer immediately when exiting the bus. Hand sanitizer is provided on buses.

WVU dean of students, Dr. Corey Farris reminds students that all protocols including wearing a mask and social distancing apply to students living in campus accommodations. The number visitors will be limited to two for a traditional on campus room and three visitors for apartment-style rooms.

“Visitors in our residence halls must be from within that residence hall,”Dr. Farris said,”That means if you don’t live in that residence hall you will not be permitted in the residential area.”

Non-residents are welcome to come into the lobby area of a residence hall they don’t live in. However, if the lobby area is congested those non-residents will be asked to wait outside.

Students with appropriate meal plans will be able to access those areas between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. by swiping their ID card.

When the semester begins the Rec Center will be closed, but Wellness on Wheels, a wiffle ball home run contest, three-point shooting, punt-pass & kick and Cycling will be offered. More activities will announced as the semester progresses.

Dean of the School of Public Health, Dr. Jeffery Coben made it very clear that students and staff suffering any kind of symptoms need to stay home and seek care from a primary care physician or from campus health resources.

“We’ve got a different set of circumstances this fall and we really want to encourage you to not push through any symptoms,”Dr. Coben said,”If you feel ill at all please stay at home and do not come to campus.”

Provost Maryanne Reed told students they do expect to encounter the virus during the semester and one of the ways they will try to isolate it is by using seating charts for classes.

“This process is absolutely necessary to ensure we can contact trace, using the latest information of where students are sitting in the classroom and who they’re sitting next to,”Reed said.

In the end, the personal conduct of students will determine if the campus will continue to open or be forced to reduce operations or even close, according to vice president of strategic initiatives Rob Alsop.

“On a Thursday or Friday we’d be thinking about some large outdoor events or maybe going to your favorite bars and crowded places,”Alsop said,”We’re going to need to avoid those this semester if we’re going to remain on campus and increase the presence we have.”