Morgantown's High Street.

High Street.

In a letter to the West Virginia University community, WVU President E. Gordon Gee said students visiting bars and clubs without following safety protocol will face sanctions if identified. 

"With the opening of bars, it was anticipated our students who are of age would be patrons," Gee wrote. "But the lack of following safety protocols – including not wearing masks or following physical distancing guidelines – is a flagrant disregard for our community’s safety, both the campus community and the city of Morgantown."

Gee said he estimates about 90% of students, faculty and staff are continuing to follow guidelines. However, he said the few that choose not to are the ones who bring negative attention to the University.

Gee said the University is working to identify any individuals not following safety protocol, and is aware of several photos and commentary circulating social media. He said these incidents are being taken seriously and those individuals will be referred to student conduct.

According to the letter, these actions could have serious consequences for the entire campus community and surrounding area as well, including spreading COVID-19 and closing the on-campus learning environment.

"We must make the important decisions that lead to responsible action," Gee wrote. "To do anything less will most certainly lead us down an irreversible path."