City, school respond after large gathering off Radford University’s campus

City, school respond after large gathering off Radford University’s campus
The City of Radford is responding after a reported large gathering off Radford University’s campus Friday night. (Source: WDBJ)

RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - The City of Radford is responding after a reported large gathering off Radford University’s campus Friday night.

Saturday, students started to move back on campus for the fall semester. So far there has been at least one report of too many people gathering and not properly distancing, according to city officials.

“We understand that you want to socialize, but big grouped, non-social or physical distancing socialization is a problem,” said Mayor David Horton.

It comes on the heels of a special council meeting to address this exact issue that was held Friday night.

“This is about individual responsibility, but we’re creating a framework to help facilitate that individual responsibility and decision making,” Horton said.

Right now the city is working on a two-pronged approach to limit the size of gatherings with so many people coming back from out of town and mask-wearing.

“I hate wearing a mask, you hate wearing a mask, but it may be the tool that we have to keep from having to shut everything down again,” Horton said. “We’re not blaming anyone, we’re not pointing a finger, but what we’re trying to do is target specific high-risk areas and high risk activities to try to deal with it so we don’t have to shut down our businesses completely.”

Radford University responded with this statement:

Horton called this a pivot point for the community because of the return of students, but said gatherings from other community members have been happening, too. In addition, people have been going away on vacations, which also doesn’t help.

“If we as individuals don’t take it upon ourselves to do anything, we will suffer collectively as a community and as a commonwealth,” Horton said. “We’re going to grow much larger and there will be much more likelihood for those types of gatherings. This is everyone needing to have that community spirit and pitch in so we don’t have further problem.”

The city is planning to vote on new rules Tuesday.

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