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Five students test positive for coronavirus at University of Lynchburg, prompting increased restrictions

Test results pending for additional seven suspected cases

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LYNCHBURG, Va. – University of Lynchburg President Dr. Alison Morrison-Shetlar announced Wednesday that five students have tested positive for COVID-19.

The five cases include two that were originally reported to the campus community on Tuesday. Four of the five reported cases are among students on campus.

21 students are currently in quarantine and another 10 are in isolation on campus, according to Morrison-Shetlar.

University leaders are waiting for test results from an additional seven suspected cases.

The five positive cases prompt the university to move from what they call “Alert Level 1″ to “Alert Level 2.” which means the following changes will be in place starting at midnight on Thursday and continuing through midnight on Wednesday, August 26:

  • All campus dining options are takeout/delivery only.
  • All classes move to online delivery for one calendar week from Thursday, Aug. 20, through Wednesday, Aug. 27, with the exception of graduate health programs and students in clinical/hospital rotations.
  • All in-person athletics and student organization programming is suspended.
  • All indoor recreational facilities are closed.
  • Residential facilities remain open.

“Alert Level 2″ is defined by three or more active positive cases on campus.

Morrison-Shetlar said the university will reassess the situation in a week and decide upon next steps. If the number of active, positive cases drops below three, she said the university may return back to “Alert Level 1.”

The university shared the following considerations that could factor into a decision to close residential facilities on campus and move classes online:

  • The University can no longer meet or provide essential functions such as safety, shelter, food service and cleaning/sanitation.
  • The University is actively quarantining or isolating 3% of the undergraduate population on campus. The residential student population as of Aug. 19 is approximately 1,300, making the threshold 39 students.
  • The University can no longer deliver courses (hybrid and in-person) safely.
  • The number of positive cases in the greater Lynchburg community grows to a sufficient level so as to endanger the university community.
  • Caseload grows to a level that cannot be adequately served by the University’s Student Health Center staff.

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