Bethany College to require masks in buildings; Vaccine proof required or must be tested biweekly

Bethany College

BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College has finalized its move-in procedures for the fall semester and has reinstated a mask requirement in all on-campus buildings until further notice.

New students will move in on Aug. 19 to begin their orientation, while returning students will arrive Aug. 22. Classes begin Aug. 23.

The college announced in June that it would require students to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19. Students seeking an exemption must request a vaccination waiver form before arriving on campus.

“This is always a time of anticipation and excitement, and I am hopeful that we can have as normal a year as possible with in-person learning,” Bethany College President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg said. “By requiring students to be vaccinated, our goal remains to reach a level of herd immunity on campus that allows us to remove the masks at a future date and stop the spread of this disease.”

Upon arrival, all students will report to the Thomas Phillips Johnson Recreation Center, where they will show proof of vaccination, proof of COVID-19 diagnosis in the last 90 days, or completed vaccine exemption request.

Students who are not vaccinated must submit to a Binax Antigen Rapid Test at the Recreation Center. Anyone with a positive result must return home immediately for a 14-day quarantine or to take a PCR test for COVID-19 and provide proof of a negative result. The college will provide quarantine housing in limited situations.

Individuals who have completed the registration fast pass online will then receive their room keys.

Students who need to finalize their registration will meet with representatives from the necessary offices, including the registrar, financial aid, student accounts, Wellness Center, and Title IX, before picking up their room keys.

Bethany College will host on-campus vaccination clinics for students, faculty, staff, and contractors on Wednesday, and Aug. 18, 19, and 23. So far, 96 percent of Bethany faculty and more than 80 percent of staff are vaccinated.

The college will monitor the impact of COVID-19 on campus and provide a weekly update to the campus community on the number of identified cases.

Throughout the semester, Bethany will comply with NCAA mandates that require regular, mandatory testing of unvaccinated athletes.

In addition, all unvaccinated students will be required to complete a biweekly COVID-19 test at the Bethany College Wellness Center. Failure to attend two test dates will result in the student losing their room and board without refund.

All policies are subject to change as the Bethany College administration receives new information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and federal, state, and local officials.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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