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Classes moved online for rest of the semester  

Switch affects all 3 campuses

West Virginia University has moved all undergraduate instruction at its three campuses online, beginning Monday and Tuesday because of the increased number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

“Now more than ever, we ask our students, faculty and staff to stay home and away from those outside your immediate bubble as much as possible,” said Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of the WVU Medicine Student Health and Urgent Care in a statement released by the university.

“If you have to be out or travel, follow the safety guidance that has been put in place to protect you and others, especially our most vulnerable residents.” 

The action also affects WVU satellite campuses in Beckley and Keyser.

Until this week, the last day for in-person classes at the Morgantown campus was Tuesday, Nov. 24. Thanksgiving break is Nov. 25-29. Students were then scheduled to resume classes online Nov. 30, with Friday, Dec. 4 as the last day of online instruction.

The university said some health sciences programs will be excluded. Faculty who teach graduate and professional-level courses have the option to teach in person  Monday and Tuesday. Students should check with their instructors about the status of their classes.

Students will have access to learning labs to finish final projects if approved and supervised by their academic unit. Also research labs will remain open, and the libraries will remain open with limited hours.

Both dining and residence halls will remain open and operate on a normal schedule until the holiday break.

WVU’s decision to move to online learning follows an email it sent out earlier this week making it mandatory for all student organization in-person events to be canceled, postponed or moved to an online platform effective immediately. The university made that move because of the recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases.

WVU Up All Night, originally scheduled for this weekend, will move to an online or virtual format. No in-person events are planned.

WVU pushed back the start of its fall semester one week at the Morgantown campus because of the pandemic.

It also moved to online classes for two weeks following Labor Day, mostly because large groups of students had parties and failed to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, which prompted the need to bring virus numbers down. The university opted not to use its Personal Rapid Transit system this semester. The PRT will remain out of commission for the spring semester as well, the university said Wednesday.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources said Wednesday afternoon that 14 more people died from COVID-19, bringing the statewide death total to 612. Seven of those deaths have been in Monongalia County.

On Friday,  WVU, the West Virginia National Guard and the Monongalia County Health Department will hold free COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Student Rec Center.

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