West Virginia University announced Monday that it is suspending in-person classes due to rising COVID-19 cases on its main campus.
The university said that in-person undergraduate classes at its Morgantown campus will be cancelled and continue online through Sept. 25, according to NBC News. Graduate and professional studies will still offer in-person instruction, according to the report.
University officials said they made the decision “in direct response to a recent increase in positive cases in students on the Morgantown campus, as well as concern for the probability of increased cases following several reports of parties held this holiday weekend where groups should have been in quarantine,” per NBC.
West Virginia University announces it will suspend in-person classes at its main campus amid concerns over a recent spike in coronavirus infections. https://t.co/KGGbUj8iyD
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 7, 2020
“This pause in face-to-face undergraduate instruction will give us time to monitor the steadily climbing cases of COVID-19,” Dr. Jeffrey Coben, associate vice president of health affairs and dean of the School of Public Health, said in a statement, according to NBC.
“There is increasing evidence that crowded indoor gatherings, such as those that occurred over the weekend, can serve as super-spreader events,” Coben added.
The school also announced that it has suspended 29 students pending investigation, per the report, adding to a growing list of suspensions at universities across the country. (Related: Northeastern University Dismisses 11 Students For Violating Social Distancing Rules, Won’t Refund Their Tuition)
The University has announced additional details for the temporary shift to undergraduate online learning starting on Wednesday (9/9).
— WVU Mountaineers (@WestVirginiaU) September 7, 2020
The university said on Twitter that “There will be no refunds at this time, as class instruction is being delivered, and residence halls and dining services will function as normal.”
“Until further notice, on-campus students should refrain from leaving campus except under emergency circumstances. Off-campus students should not visit campus and are asked to stay home except when absolutely necessary,” the university’s twitter thread added.
There have been over 51,000 recorded cases at colleges across the country as of September 3, according to the New York Times.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 6,261,216 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Sept. 7.