Handful of Mary Baldwin students still reporting to campus, with safety measures in place

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) — As classes through colleges and universities remain online for the rest of the spring semester and all public K-12 schools close their doors for the rest of the academic year, a handful of students are still reporting to campus at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton.

The university moved all classes online earlier this month, canceling Homecoming in the process, and postponed most major events.

They were among the first schools to plan to keep classes online for the remainder of their spring semester, which ends on April 20.

"Of course, this is not how we expected to connect with the MBU family, but the health and safety of our alumni, faculty, staff, and students is our number one priority," the university said. " Please continue monitoring your email and updates at marybaldwin.edu/covid19.

The university encouraged students to return home to minimize any potential spread of the coronavirus.

At this time, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on Mary Baldwin's campus or anywhere in Staunton or in Augusta County.

According to Augusta Health, as of 5 p.m. on March 24, they've seen no positive cases of the coronavirus.

Just a little farther north, Harrisonburg has 4 confirmed cases and Rockingham County has 2 cases.

But a handful of students at Mary Baldwin are reporting to campus.

According to university officials, their top priority is the health and safety of their community, but the campus remains open while the school has "tailored teaching and learning to meet the recommendations of public health officials and mandates of our elected leaders."

At the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, traditional classes are now being taught online, but students whose courses require lab work for graduation are still reporting to campus to be able to complete that work.

The university says those labs have been restructured so that no more than 10 people, including faculty, are present in a lab at any one time, and social distancing is observed.

However, the vast majority of Murphy Deming faculty, staff, and students are not reporting to campus.

Initially, the university's hakespeare and Performance program, a graduate program for MLitt and MFA students, was also treated separately, with students continuing to work on performances in-person, but that program has since moved entirely online as well.

For more information about the university's plan for on-campus events such as graduation, click here.