After nearly a year of primarily online classes, West Virginia University shared via social media that for the upcoming fall semester, it plans to return to in-person instruction.
Posted to WVU’s Instagram story on Monday, the University responded to a question asking about the status of the fall semester by saying, “We plan to return in the fall for in-person classes and will follow the most current health and safety guidelines at the time to keep everyone on our campus as safe as possible.”
WVU spokesperson April Kaull echoed the point, saying that the University will follow health guidelines in order to keep those on campus safe.
“We plan to return in the fall for in-person classes and will follow the most current health and safety guidelines at the time to keep everyone on our campus as safe as possible,” Kaull said.
Kaull said it’s too early to determine what the health situation will be in the fall and that the University will continue to monitor conditions and follow advice from experts at the local, state and national levels, as well as University health experts.
“Those factors and their input will guide our decisions,” Kaull said.
Back in March 2020, the University suspended in-person classes for the remainder of that semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Classes during the fall 2020 semester were also primarily online, with a handful of courses being offered in person.
So far, West Virginia University isn’t the only Big 12 school looking to return to normal next academic year.
At Baylor University, data reported by the Baylor Lariat shows that experts expect a “fair amount of normal” on campus by the upcoming summer. Baylor has seen a difference in COVID-19 cases on its campus between the fall and spring semesters due to weekly testings, social distancing and wearing facial coverings.
Other schools in the Big 12 also plan on “returning to a new normal,” such as Iowa State University and Oklahoma State University.
As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, WVU had totaled nearly 1,500 confirmed positive cases of the COVID-19 virus among students since testing began on July 21, 2020. An additional 136 positive cases came from members of University staff and faculty.
In Monongalia County, a total of 6,157 cases were confirmed positive since testing began, according to data available on Wednesday afternoon. Of those cases, 34% belong to the 20-29 age group.
Since the rollout of vaccines began earlier this year, the state of West Virginia has seen a decline in positive confirmed cases.