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EMU delays move-in after four student leaders test positive for COVID-19

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 11:17 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Wednesday evening, Eastern Mennonite University announced they are pushing back their move-in plans based on recent developing health information.

In an email sent out to parents, the university reported earlier Wednesday four student leaders tested positive for COVID-19. All students who tested positive are asymptomatic.

Fred Kniss, Provost for the university, said these students returned to campus last weekend for leadership training with the university. He said because these students would normally come into contact with many others due to their responsibilities they preemptively tested those students.

The university said all other student leaders and Residence Life staff who were in contact with those students are now in quarantine. The email went on to say they have learned from contact tracing there is a wider group of Student Life staff that need to be quarantined out of an abundance of caution.

“Because these are student life and residence life staff that were involved in the training, in order to have a smooth, healthy, and successful move-in we really felt that we should wait until after the quarantine period,” Kniss said.

Because of the impact on staff and student leaders, the university said they could not open its residence halls in good faith.

All undergraduate classes will begin online starting Tuesday, Aug. 25 and students will be able to move to campus on Sept. 3- Sept. 6.

According to the university, students who already arrived will be accommodated for on-campus housing and dining services. More information will be given out to parents and students in the coming days.

“We realize Harrisonburg is a welcoming town to many university students,” Kniss said. “We want to do everything we can to keep Harrisonburg a welcoming and safe place for everyone.”

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