RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia Commonwealth University will offer in-person and hybrid classes starting on March 4.
VCU President Michael Rao said the decision was made after careful consideration by VCU’s Public Health Response Team and the VCU Incident Command Team.
“Since the pandemic began last year, one question has guided our decisions: what is best for students, faculty and staff? Throughout, our goal has been to prioritize our community’s health and ensure academic, research and health care work is impacted as minimally as possible,” Rao said in a message to students, faculty and staff.
University leaders based the decision on COVID-19 positivity rates, a review of available on-campus isolation space, COVID-19 testing capacity and the availability of hospital space for treating COVID-19 patients.
“Studies have shown that a virtual-only environment impacts students’ mental health. Safely expanding our in-person and hybrid academic offerings can help alleviate some of those impacts,” Rao said.
COVID-19 safety measures will continue, including mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing, enhanced disinfection and symptom monitoring.
“This semester, we have taken additional steps to promote health and safety in our community. These include mandatory asymptomatic surveillance testing, updated student and employee training and Entry Pass. Members of our community who are selected for surveillance testing should make an appointment and follow through. Knowing your status will help to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Rao said.
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