Leaders at West Virginia University in Morgantown announced Monday that most classes would immediately shift to an online-only format after handing out dozens of sanctions following holiday weekend gatherings in the town.
WVU officials announced that most undergraduate, in-person classes on the Morgantown campus will move online for two weeks because the “local public health situation” is deteriorating in Monongalia County. All in-person undergraduate classes have been canceled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, to prepare for the transition.
A day prior, 29 WVU students were suspended, with additional sanctions pending, amid ongoing COVID-19-related investigations into large parties in Morgantown over the weekend, including one attended by a fraternity member who tested positive for COVID-19 and had been told to isolate.
The students received notification letters Sunday. They are banned from campus and cannot take classes, including those offered online.
“Immediate interim suspensions are used when we determine a student presents a safety risk to campus,” Dean of Students Corey Farris said in a news release. “We know that these parties act as super spreaders. Their flagrant disregard for the health and safety of their classmates, our campus and the entire Morgantown community will not be tolerated.”
President E. Gordon Gee, in a letter to students Monday, said the Sept. 12 football game between WVU and Eastern Kentucky University still is scheduled to be played.
“We are not seeing the same community spread occurring in our athletic programs,” Gee wrote. “The department is following a strict set of testing protocols mandated by the Big 12 that reveals a different set of realities for Intercollegiate Athletics. As a reminder, there will be no fans or tailgating at this game.”
As of 10 a.m. Monday, Labor Day, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reported 461,558 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 11,575 total cases and 247 deaths.
DHHR confirmed the death of an 86-year-old woman from Kanawha County.
Cases per county: Barbour (35), Berkeley (831), Boone (157), Braxton (9), Brooke (102), Cabell (589), Calhoun (18), Clay (29), Doddridge (13), Fayette (421), Gilmer (20), Grant (144), Greenbrier (106), Hampshire (93), Hancock (128), Hardy (76), Harrison (301), Jackson (217), Jefferson (389), Kanawha (1,731), Lewis (36), Lincoln (126), Logan (519), Marion (230), Marshall (134), Mason (120), McDowell (74), Mercer (350), Mineral (147), Mingo (280), Monongalia (1,401), Monroe (138), Morgan (41), Nicholas (57), Ohio (297), Pendleton (45), Pleasants (15), Pocahontas (45), Preston (141), Putnam (350), Raleigh (391), Randolph (228), Ritchie (6), Roane (37), Summers (21), Taylor (110), Tucker (12), Tyler (15), Upshur (46), Wayne (298), Webster (7), Wetzel (45), Wirt (8), Wood (324), Wyoming (72).
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department reported 227 current active cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
As part of Gov. Jim Justice’s initiative to increase testing opportunities, the health department and DHHR will provide free COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11 at the Barboursville EMS, 1652 Riverview Drive in Barboursville. Testing is available to anyone in the county, including asymptomatic individuals, and proof of insurance is not required.
The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department recorded four new cases of COVID-19 Monday: a 38-year-old man, a 67-year-old woman, a 21-year-old woman and a 86-year-old man, all isolating at home.