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University of Charleston releases Back to Campus Plan for Fall 2021

(AP)
(AP)(WKYT)
Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 9:27 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The University of Charleston has released its Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2021.

Officials say the university plans to return to full on-campus learning and social activities. The mask mandate will be lifted for vaccinated students and social distance rules will be lessened.

UC says it’s one of over 500 campuses across the country that will require its students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before coming to campus. If a student cannot get vaccinated before they return, there will be free clinics for students at the beginning of the semester. The school will consider medical exemptions.

“We have two main campus goals at UC – ensuring the health and safety of all of our students, faculty, and staff, and enabling students to achieve their personal and professional goals,” said UC President Marty Roth. “Having a vaccinated community allows us to achieve both of these goals while providing students with the most open and least restricted campus environment possible. The Fall 2021 Return to Campus Plan exemplifies UC’s student-focused values and best enables us to achieve our mission.”

Students, faculty and staff that are fully vaccinated will not have to wear face coverings while on campus. They also won’t have to participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing. If they come into contact with someone known to have COVID-19, they won’t have to quarantine unless they have symptoms.

The vaccine requirement will apply to both the Charleston and Beckley campuses.

“Although we managed to find innovative methods of teaching classes with the health and safety procedures in place, it will be wonderful returning to a more normal, and yet enhanced, learning experience,” said Nicky Bell, Health Promotion Program Director and Assistant Professor at UC. “I know as a professor it is always so powerful to be able to interact with students both verbally and non-verbally, and we will be able to do both more consistently moving forward. I personally look forward to, and delight in, the opportunity to see my students’ smiles.”

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