ETTRICK, Va. (WRIC) – Virginia State University students will return to a fully virtual return for the remainder of the fall 2020 semester.
“We have worked tirelessly to prepare for the safe return of our students,” President Makola M. Abdullah told VSU families in a letter. “We are fully prepared to welcome them back to our campus; however, we have determined that the implications and risks of returning to campus in the midst of this growing pandemic could potentially have harmful or even deadly ramifications.”
The decision means classes will be offered fully online and students won’t be able to use on-campus housing for the remainder of the semester.
The previous plan called for four weeks of virtual classes with a transition to on-campus classes on September 14. That schedule would be used for at-home testing for students and faculty.
VSU officials said after seeing universities across the country reopen and then close due to COVID-19 outbreaks, they decided to reconsider their plan.
“VSU serves a population that is at higher risk of COVID-19,” Abdullah said. “More than half of all cases and deaths are in the black community. We recognize that despite our heartfelt efforts, meticulous planning and precise preparations, this virus is relentless.”
Abdullah says the decision prevents a ‘massive disruption’ that could happen if the campus had to shut down due to an outbreak.