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‘We’re taking the precautions we need to’: University of Lynchburg students return to campus for mix of in-person, online classes

The university opens campus amid pandemic, enforces health regulations

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A temperature check at the door is part of the new normal on the University of Lynchburg’s campus.

The Hornets have returned to the hive and are having to adjust.

“Some changes I’ve noticed is there really is nobody walking around campus,” said junior DaiJordan Brown.

Wednesday was the first day of classes for Brown and senior Reggie Davis.

“The school is taking all the precautions needed to make it feel safe to be here. That’s the only reason I came back,” said Davis.

On Wednesday, a 10 News crew noticed almost every student they saw following the mandatory mask rule.

Classroom layouts on campus have changed too, capping the limit to 20 students.

Staff are teaching in rooms they normally wouldn’t. For example, there’s a nutrition class inside the university’s chapel now.

“That has been the huge challenge is to just get everybody in a room with the appropriate social distancing,” said Associate Provost Dean of General Studies and Sociology Professor Chip Walton.

Walton said a majority of students are learning through a mix of online and face-to-face classes during the week.

“There are very small number of classes that are all face-to-face. Mainly labs, one credit classes, activity-based classes that might be outside,” Walton said.

Davis, who may have to go off campus sometimes, wants the Lynchburg community to know they’re being responsible here.

“When us students leave campus, nothing’s going with us. You’re safe if you come here. You’re safe if you’re walking around the community to go to stores and every place because we’re taking the precautions we need to,” Davis said.

School officials said they did a space study in 2015 which helped them figure out classroom capacities.