MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia University will require testing of all students, faculty and staff for the coronavirus before they can return to campus for the start of fall classes.
The university said Wednesday that in setting Aug. 19 as the start of fall classes students must wear masks on campus, including in classes. The fall semester will finish up with students going home for Thanksgiving and finishing up with online classes.
The move is seen as a crucial step toward launching football and other fall sports. Conference commissioners nationwide have stressed to Vice President Mike Pence that college athletics cannot resume until campuses reopen. Big 12 schools have all announced their intentions to have students on campus this fall.
“We have given careful consideration to the wisdom of returning to campus while the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us,” West Virginia President Gordon Gee said in a statement. “However, it is clear our students want to be with their professors and fellow Mountaineers. We are taking every precaution and making every preparation possible so they can do that safely.”
Faculty, staff and students must complete a coronavirus education course before Aug. 11, the statement said.