‘We’re in a good place’: University of Lynchburg students return to class after COVID-19 outbreak on campus

As of Monday, university had 16 active COVID-19 cases

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Some students at the University of Lynchburg were relieved to be in the classroom Monday after two weeks of online learning.

“It’s hard to do nursing online. You can’t really learn how to put IVs in a computer. It doesn’t really work that way. I’m really excited to start practice on actual people,” said nursing major Abigail Childs.

Childs lives with Savannah Turner and Maureen Long. The trio has been cautious in their on-campus house after they were forced to stay in because of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.

“We had everyone, as soon as we come in the door, just go wash our hands and put on hand sanitizer. It’s the first thing you do when you enter,” said mathematics major Long.

As of Monday, the university has 16 active COVID-19 cases. Plus, they are managing an additional 79 on- and off-campus students in quarantine and isolation.

“We’re looking at sort of peaks and valleys. And right now, we’re in a good place. The numbers have been flat for several days now,” said Michael Jones, V.P. of Communications & Marketing for the University of Lynchburg.

University officials say they’ve learned a lot in this process. For instance, the outbreak on campus wasn’t caused by large gatherings, but in the residential halls where students may have let their guards down.

“We haven’t experienced what they’ve experienced at many institutions where large gatherings have students resulted in many positive cases several days later. So that tells us that the students are taking this seriously,” Jones said.

“No one wanted to go home. So, we worked hard to not let that happen,” said Childs.