UPDATE: Bluefield College continues remote learning

Mercer County

UPDATE SUNDAY, SEPT. 27, 2020 5:48 p.m.: BLUEFIELD, VA (WVNS)– Bluefield College decided to continue remote learning due to the increase of COVID-19 cases in Tazewell County. Administrators made the announcement on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020.

Originally the school was going to hold in person classes starting on Monday, Sept. 28, but now, remote education will go through Friday, Oct. 9. Administers said they plan to hold in person classes starting on October 12.

At this time all athletics activities are postponed. The release further states this remote instruction will allow for additional testing and deep cleaning of facilities around campus. Since Sept. 14, 34 students tested positive for COVID-19. An additional four employees and two graduate assistants have tested positive. As of now, there are 100 students who are in quarantine or isolation.

“While it is easy to be shocked at the number in quarantine or isolation, it is important to remember this is a safety precaution. It is our hope this two-week period will slow the number of students who are testing positive, as well as provide a safe environment that lessens the risk of exposure for our employees. Our protocols allow for these temporary pauses in seated instruction. It is our hope to resume in person instruction by October 12.”

President David Olive

BLUEFIELD, VA (WVNS) — Administrators with Bluefield College decided to move all classes to remote learning from Tuesday, Sept. 22- Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. During this time, only essential workers will be allowed to report to work.

According to BC administrators, there was an increase in positive COVID-19 cases following the Labor Day holiday and an unapproved off campus. The school began rapid testing of students which put 24 students in isolation. After conducting contact tracing by college staff, health department officials, and college leadership, there are now 21 positive cases with an additional 44 students in observation.

All athletic competitions and practices were postponed through Sunday, Sept. 27. The Herb Sims Center will also be closed. Staff will be deep cleaning the facilities around campus and additional testing will be done.

“While this latest increase in students testing positive for the COVID-19 virus is a setback, I am
hopeful this pause in seated instruction will assist in our efforts to ensure other students, faculty
and staff remain safe,” said president Dr. David Olive. “I know that everyone desires the very
best for our campus community, and I am certain we will come together to overcome this latest
outbreak so that we can safely and successfully can complete the fall semester.”

College leadership will reevaluate the situation on Sunday, September 27, to determine if on-campus work, practices, and seated instruction can return.

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