West Virginia University will resume in-person courses beginning next week, the school announced Tuesday.
Dr. Jeffrey Coben, dean of WVU School of Public Health, said in a news release that positive case numbers on and off-campus are declining.
“The student daily positive case numbers are down, including those tests conducted outside the WVU system,” Coben said. “Additionally, we have seen consistent declines in student quarantine and isolation cases.”
WVU reported 89 positive cases for students in the seven-day period before Wednesday, out of 1,394 total tests taken — a 6.38% daily positive case rate, according to WVU’s testing database. WVU reported zero positive cases for 163 staff and faculty members tested during the same period.
On Sept. 7 — or eight days after classes began — the university canceled all in-person courses for three weeks, citing the increasing number of positive cases and students in isolation and quarantine. All courses were moved online as students remained in Morgantown.
WVU President Gordon Gee said the trend in positive cases was behind the school’s decision.
“The data drove our decision and I am so delighted all indications are we can safely return to in-person instruction,” Gee said.
Arnold Apartments, WVU’s designated isolation space for students who live in residence halls, has a 40% occupancy, according to the news release.
Gee said even though courses will be taught in-person again, it doesn’t mean students should stop following social distancing and public health guidelines.
“Every decision we have made has been focused on the health and safety of our faculty, staff and students,” Gee said. “We were able to flatten our numbers and move forward with the semester. However, we are still in the midst of a serious pandemic and must adhere to the safety guidelines in place. Going forward, I want to assure our campus and the surrounding community that health and safety factors will continue to guide us in the future.”