Sun Gazette Newspapers: Marymount plans fully in-person return in fall

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Marymount University plans fully in-person instruction in the fall, university officials say, along with a return to a more “normal” college experience for students in regard to resident life, athletics and campus activities.

For both the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, Marymount has been operating through a hybrid model that has allowed students to take classes either on campus or remotely. No positive COVID-19 cases at Marymount have been traced back to classroom settings, officials said.

“We have done everything possible to keep our students and employees safe,” university president Irma Becerra said. “Reaching this point where we can make a full return to in-person learning and living is thanks to our community members as a whole, who have all played a part in our collective success.”

All resident students, student-athletes, commuters registered for in-person classes, faculty who teach in-person classes and identified staff members were tested for COVID-19 prior to the start of classes in January.

In addition, Marymount recently joined other DC-area universities in the rollout of an innovative saliva-based COVID-19 testing system, Shield T3, with a mobile laboratory located at Gallaudet University.

Marymount is currently processing about 5,000 tests per week through the Shield T3 lab to monitor student-athletes and conduct enhanced “surveillance testing.”

Marymount also is working on a campus plan for vaccination for when it becomes available to colleges and universities. In Virginia, essential workers at higher education institutions are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines in the upcoming Phase 1C.

Students with “unique circumstances” may be allowed to opt out of fully in-person instruction and participate in either a hybrid or remote format this fall, university officials said.

Read the original article on the Sun Gazette’s website.