Liberty University, which partly reopened its campus amid the coronavirus pandemic, confirmed they now have almost a dozen students sick with potential COVID-19 symptoms.
The physician who runs the evangelical school’s student-health service, Dr. Thomas Eppes Jr., told The New York Times that three students were referred to local hospitals while eight more were instructed to self-isolate. “Liberty will be notifying the community as deemed appropriate and required by law,” university president Jerry Falwell Jr. told the newspaper, adding that any student returning to campus would have to self-quarantine for two weeks.
Eppes said he told Falwell that health officials have “lost the ability to corral” the virus but didn’t urge him to close the school, leaving Falwell to make the decision. The mayor and city manager of Lynchburg, Virginia said they were told by Falwell two weeks ago that he had every intention to follow Virginia’s public health directives and close the school to almost all students, though he apparently changed his mind.
Eight-hundred of the 1,900 students that initially returned to campus last week have left, but Falwell said students off-campus should be concerned due to the crowded conditions they’re living in. “If I were them, I’d be more nervous,” he said.