By Hunter Epperson, William Deitz, William Masselli & Andrew Wheeler
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Central Virginia and Liberty University moves to online classes after an outbreak in their first week of school, students at the University of Lynchburg say they still feel safe on campus.
“An average of 32 cases per day were reported in Lynchburg, a 47 percent increase from the average two weeks ago. Since the beginning of the pandemic, at least 1 in 10 residents have been infected, a total of 8,326 reported cases. Right now, Lynchburg is at an extremely high risk for unvaccinated people,” according to the New York Times Lynchburg, Virginia COVID case tracker.
According to Liberty University’s COVID-19 Dashboard, which has not been updated since Aug. 25, there were a total of 159 active cases; 124 of those were active student cases, and the other 35 were active faculty/staff cases. There are also 274 on campus students in quarantine, as well as 111 commuters and 107 employees.
As of publication on Aug. 31, there were seven positive COVID-19 cases within the University of Lynchburg student population; all are quarantining off-campus and there is one student in quarantine on campus. There are currently three active cases among faculty and staff, according to the University of Lynchburg’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 page.
First year, Carlos Moran, said, “We’re a small campus, not as big as Liberty, so I think we all know how to manage to keep ourselves safe.”
Moran also noted, “I know it’s a problematic thing and we should all be concerned. Personally, I’m doing the best I can to keep myself safe, but other than that, as long as I know how to keep myself safe, and keep others safe as well, I think I’m fine.”
While Isaiah Harrison, a junior, stated, “I think that’s what they need and deserve because they’re not following Covid protocol about wearing masks and social distancing. They should be under lockdown.”
Harrison continued, “I feel safer but we still have room to improve. We need to distance ourselves, wear a mask, and wash our hands.”
Tyreek Kennedy stated that they [Liberty University] should have focused more on the mandate and keeping masks on.
He further emphasized the need to be cautious. Kennedy said, “We are doing a good job enforcing our mask policy. Having them on inside lowers the risk of Covid.”
Jennae Edwards, a political science major, did not have a positive outlook about Liberty being under lockdown. She said, “It’s negative, because Lynchburg is small and everyone is connected which could be a risk to students here due to students from both schools intermixing.”
Edwards said she feels, “Mostly safe, there are outside guests allowed in which could cause issues.”
Senior Manuela Amouzou explained that she hopes students obey quarantine and no one leaves campus. She further stated that guests should not be brought from the Covid heavy area onto the Lynchburg campus, but because the school does not have the ability to screen every person who enters campus, it seems this will be difficult.
For additional information on COVID-19 cases at Lynchburg visit https://www.lynchburg.edu/about/covid-19/