HUNTINGTON — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has issued an executive order allowing the state’s public and private colleges and universities to reopen for the fall semester.
Justice issued the order Friday during his daily press briefing.
The order does not set a specific reopening date, which means each school can reopen on its preferred time frame.
The order was issued following a virtual meeting Justice had with the state’s public and private college and university presidents to discuss reopening plans as schools work to address the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which forced many of them to shift classes to an online format in the spring.
In June, Marshall University’s board of governors approved the university’s return-to-campus plan, which outlines the steps the university will take to keep students and employees safe during the pandemic.
The university is implementing a revised academic plan that features a mix of face-to-face classes, online classes and hybrid settings. The university’s academic calendar also has been adjusted to minimize travel to and from campus once the fall and spring semesters begin, while maintaining the required number of instructional days.
Classes are scheduled to begin Aug. 24, with students completing the semester online after the Thanksgiving break.
Classrooms will be limited to 50% capacity and professors will teach behind plexiglass.
All students and employees will be required to wear face masks or coverings in buildings.
Students living on campus will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival. Students and staff will also be able to take a daily health assessment.