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APRIL 15 UPDATE: Liberty University posts FAQ on COVID-19 matters

April 15, 2020 : Liberty University

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ON COVID-19 MATTERS
April 15, 2020, 6:00 pm ET

 

By the numbers:

 

  • 8,000    Approximate pre-spring break number of Liberty University students in residence halls
  • 1,060    Approximate number of students living in Liberty University residence halls as of April 15
  •          Number of LU students (both Residential and Online) known to be tested for COVID-19
  • 0          Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of LU residential program students
  • 1          Number of pending test results for COVID-19 among LU students
  •          Number of negative tests for COVID-19 among LU students
  • 1          Number of positive COVID-19 tests among LU online students
  • 0          Number of LU off-campus students in self-quarantine at home
  • 2          Number of LU on-campus students in quarantine at LU housing annex (no symptoms; no test)
  • 16        Number of LU employees known to be tested for COVID-19
  • 0          Number of positive COVID-19 tests among LU employees working on-campus 2 weeks before test
  • 2          Number of positive COVID-19 tests among LU employees working at home 2 weeks before test
  • 2          Number of pending test results for COVID-19 among LU employees
  • 12        Number of negative tests for COVID-19 among LU employees
  • 7          Number of LU employees asked to self-quarantine at home

 

Is the graduated student taking additional online classes who tested positive a former student athlete and was that student on campus in the weeks before his test?

Yes, the student is a former student athlete.  No, student has not been on campus since two weeks before the test.  Prior information that the graduated student came to an on campus clinic was incorrect.  The graduated student called into the clinic, detailed the symptoms and was directed to Centra for testing.  The test was taken on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.  The positive result was reported late Sunday, March 29, 2020.  While the student lives in Lynchburg with family, the location of infection cannot be pinpointed, in part, because the graduated student traveled to Florida on business in the two week period before the test.  This graduated online former student athlete had mild COVID-19 symptoms and quickly made a full recovery. 

 

Were the employees who tested positive working in location such that they had close contact with fellow employees or students?

No employees working on campus have tested positive for COVID-19.  The two employees working from home who have tested positive were working remotely for at least 2 weeks before being tested.  Public health officials do not deem these workers to have been a threat to the Liberty workplace or the campus community under these circumstances.

 

What does LU require of a student who tests positive for COVID-19?

Because persons typically must be symptomatic before testing, the student would have previously been under self-quarantine, either at our annex quarantine facility two miles from the main campus or at their off campus residence.  Either way, they are not permitted to return to the main campus.  Per public health guidance, students are required to maintain that self-quarantine until they are no longer symptomatic and have been confirmed by a health professional as no longer a threat to the health of others.  During that time period of self-quarantine, such students might choose to go to their parents’ home.  

 

Does Liberty University have the power to force a student into self-isolation or self-quarantine?

Yes, if the student lives in the residence halls, the student’s room can be moved to an isolation property where the student must stay or must leave for the student’s parent’s home.  Liberty can use its conduct code and can ban students from campus to enforce violations of the self-quarantine directive. 

 

What impact does Governor Northam’s March 30 Executive Order have on operations at Liberty University?

Liberty was already operating in compliance with most provisions of Order 55.  After the March 30 Order, Liberty closed down the only remaining in person instruction, which had been in the School of Aviation, having previously moved all of its other classroom instruction to an online delivery format and either discontinued labs or used substitute formats.  Additionally, Liberty is informing its residential students of the travel restrictions in the Order and adjusting its curfew and checkout policies to support these new restrictions. 

 

Will Liberty now institute new measures or reconsider its decision to partially use the residence halls and force the remaining residence hall students to return to their parent’s homes or live somewhere else?

Liberty will also comply with all applicable governmental orders.  The decision will not be reconsidered but new students that choose to come to their rooms for the first time after midnight on March 29 are required to be in quarantine for two weeks at the housing annex, a former hotel two miles from campus.  The pre-existing measures detailed on the University website and in prior statements will remain in place to help keep students and employees safe  (online instruction, groups of less than ten, all take out dining, work from home where possible, enforced social distancing, increased sanitation of touch points, closed fitness centers and other indoor recreation, etc.).  On-campus students who travel away from Lynchburg may not return directly to their residence halls or campus and must quarantine in the annex for two weeks without COVID-19 symptoms.

 

Do faculty members have to keep office hours or physically be on campus for any reason?

No, as was clarified on the first day of classes, members of the faculty can perform their work at home and handle student meetings via telephone and video calls or they can choose to use their offices.

 

What is Liberty’s response to the class action lawsuit filed on Monday, April 13, 2020?

The facts are that Liberty University’s response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic is indistinguishable from that of many, if not most, universities and, more importantly, it had not experienced a single on-campus student or employee testing positive for COVID-19.  Like other universities, Liberty has also been sued by a student seeking a refund of room, board and other fees as a result of state-mandated restrictions, and we think the law is clear that these claims are without merit.  Liberty will still honor its pledge to provide $1,000 credits to certain students who have opted to move from the residence halls and will continue to allow its students to obtain academic credit in their educational programs online without interruption.  Liberty’s less populated and more frequently sanitized campus living environment will be maintained for those students who chose it as their safest option.



 

 

MARCH 31 UPDATE: Liberty University posts FAQ on COVID-19 matters

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS OF LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ON COVID-19 MATTERS
March 30, 2020, 3:00 pm ET

By the numbers:

  • 8,000  Approximate pre-spring break number of Liberty University students in residence halls
  • 1,900  Students living in Liberty University residence halls week after spring break (March 23)
  • 1,045  Students living in Liberty University residence halls as of Sunday March 29
  • 3  Number of LU Students (both Residential and Online) known to be tested for COVID-19
  • 0  Number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of LU residential program students
  • 1  Number of pending test results for COVID-19 among LU students
  • 1  Number of negative tests for COVID-19 among LU students
  • 1  Number of positive COVID-19 cases among LU online students (a recent graduate and former student athlete, in residential program Fall of 2019, residing locally with family, test results provided late Sunday, March 29)
  • 2  Number of LU off-campus students asked to self-quarantine at home due to symptoms
  • 4  Number of LU on-campus students asked to self-quarantine at LU due to being in NYC area (no symptoms; no test)
  • 3  Number of on-campus students asked to self-quarantine at LU due to being in proximity to students who were in NYC area (no symptoms; no test)
  • 5  Number of LU on-campus students in self-quarantine at LU housing annex
  • 3  Number of LU on- and off-campus students who went to parent’s home instead of entering self-quarantine locally
     

Was the graduated student taking additional online classes and who tested positive a former student athlete and was that student on campus in the weeks before his test?

No, the graduated student who tested positive has not been on campus since two weeks before the test.  Prior information that the graduated student came to an on campus clinic was incorrect.  The graduated student called into the clinic, detailed the symptoms and was directed to Centra for testing.  The test was taken on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.  The positive result was reported late Sunday, March 29, 2020.  While the student lives in Lynchburg with family, the location of infection cannot be pinpointed, in part, because the graduated student traveled to Florida on business in the two-week period before the test.


What does LU require of a student who tests positive for COVID-19?

Because persons typically must be symptomatic before testing, the student would have previously been under self-quarantine, either at our annex quarantine facility two miles from the main campus or at their off-campus residence. Either way, they are not permitted to return to the main campus. Per public health guidance, students are required to maintain that self-quarantine until they are no longer symptomatic and have been confirmed by a health professional as no longer a threat to the health of others. During that time period of self-quarantine, such students might choose to go to their parents’ home.

 

Does Liberty University have the power to force a student into self-isolation or self-quarantine?

Yes, if the student lives in the residence halls, the student’s room can be moved to an isolation property where the student must stay or must leave for the student’s parent’s home. Liberty can use its conduct code and can ban students from campus to enforce violations of the self-quarantine directive.

 

What impact with Governor Northam’s March 30 Executive Order have on operations at Liberty University?

Liberty was already operating in compliance with most provisions of Order 55. After today’s Order, Liberty will close down the only remaining in person instruction, which had been in the School of Aeronautics, having previously moved all of its other classroom instruction to an online delivery format and either discontinued labs or used substitute formats. Additionally, Liberty is informing its residential students of the travel restrictions in the Order and adjusting its curfew and checkout policies to support these new restrictions.
 

Will Liberty now institute new measures or reconsider its decision to partially use the residence halls and force the remaining residence hall students to return to their parent’s homes or live somewhere else?

The decision will not be reconsidered but new students that choose to come to their rooms for the first time after midnight on Sunday, March 29, will be required to be in self-quarantine for two weeks at the housing annex, a former hotel two miles from campus. The pre-existing measures detailed on the University website and in prior statements will remain in place to help keep students and employees safe (online instruction, groups of less than ten, all takeout dining, work from home where possible, enforced social distancing, increased sanitation of touch points, closed fitness centers and other indoor recreation, etc.). Liberty will also comply with all applicable governmental orders.


Do faculty members have to keep office hours or physically be on campus for any reason?

No, as was clarified on the first day of classes, members of the faculty can perform their work at home and handle student meetings via telephone and video calls or they can choose to use their offices.

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