Some JMU students exempted from leaving campus as classes go online temporarily

Some JMU students exempted from leaving campus as classes go online temporarily
A major factor in James Madison University’s decision to transition classes online included the availability of isolation and quarantine beds on campus. (Source: WHSV)

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A major factor in James Madison University’s decision to transition classes online included the availability of isolation and quarantine beds on campus.

As of Friday, out of 143, there were 11 available.

University spokeswoman Caitlyn Read said with students leaving campus, the school can accommodate space if needed.

“In the next couple of days, as we see students leave, we expect our ability to isolate and quarantine students to grow,” Read said. “We will continue to monitor what that looks like, but a student right now in need of isolation, we would be able to work with them on that.”

Since July 1, JMU recorded 650 active positive cases of COVID-19. Most having been reported within the last week when students arrived back to the Harrisonburg campus for the fall semester.

Earlier this week, JMU announced it would transition to online classes for at least a month and encouraged students who live on campus to go back home.

However, the university has provided exemptions for some students to stay on campus.

“My father is having a really big surgery next week and cannot under any circumstances be exposed to anybody with COVID,” said student Kiley Rotella.

Anika Singh, another student, plans to stay in the area for the time-being.

“My grandma lives with us and both my parents are high risk, so I’m staying on-campus when I get my results back and then we’ll go from there,” Singh said.

On Friday, JMU’s Student Government Association requested the suspension of classes for at least a week to students time to travel, destress and transition to the online learning format.

Locally, police at James Madison University and the Harrisonburg Police Department plan to continue its increased patrols.

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