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Liberty University announces quarantine amid COVID-19 spike

August 27, 2021 GMT

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Liberty University announced a temporary campus-wide quarantine Thursday amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The quarantine is set to begin Monday and last until Sept. 10, news outlets report. The university has about 15,000 students and 5,000 faculty or staff on campus

There were 159 known active cases among students, faculty and staff as of Wednesday, according to the university’s online COVID-19 dashboard. Of those cases, 124 cases were among students.

It is a sharp increase from last week when 40 students and staff tested positive as students were welcomed back to campus. It also surpasses the highest confirmed active caseload last September, when at least 141 people on campus tested positive and nearly 1,200 people were quarantined.

As the university began its fall semester this week, the university, which doesn’t require vaccination, lifted building capacity restrictions and distancing and masking requirements. The university changed its protocol late Thursday to enact the campus-wide quarantine, moving classes online and suspending large indoor gatherings.

Outdoor events will continue as scheduled and worship services will move to the stadium.

The university will encourage masking and social distancing and host vaccine clinics on campus, but it didn’t indicate it would mandate those measures.