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Updates for Families on COVID-19

A Message From Our Dean of Students

Dear Parents and Guardians:

I am writing to you as someone who cares deeply about your students' safety, health, and well-being. We are facing a public health crisis worldwide, nationwide, and here in West Virginia.

On behalf of the University and larger community, I am asking for your help. If your student has told you they want to remain in Morgantown: It’s critical that your student returns home. Your partnership with us as a parent will help ensure their return home and are ready to begin online instruction starting on Monday, March 30. Courses that were fully online at the beginning of the semester should continue to follow the original syllabus.

We are especially concerned right now about students who may be out and about. We need your assistance in helping them understand the dangers posed by COVID-19. While they may not become sick or suffer only mild symptoms if they contract COVID-19, they could infect those most at-risk who could become acutely ill. More than half of West Virginia’s population is considered most at-risk, so anything we can do to protect our fellow citizens is critical. Encourage them to take these steps to minimize the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus:

·       social distancing, 

·       staying away from gatherings of more than 10 people, and 

·       avoiding contact with individuals who are elderly or immunocompromised. 

Dr. Kathryn Moffett, a WVU expert on infectious diseases, discusses the importance of social 

distancing in this video

We made the very difficult decision to move our classes to online instruction not only based on the health and welfare of our students, but also because we want to ensure that WVU Medicine is not stretched too thin in the coming weeks and months. Alleviating a population stress point will be better for our health system and, thus, for the health and welfare of everyone in the region. We recognize a small number of students may need to be in Morgantown due to unavoidable circumstances, and we will continue to support those students. We are strongly advising and requesting that students do not return to campus. 

Your student will be hearing more from their professors and instructors soon about the transition to online instruction. We know this will be an abrupt and challenging transition. However, faculty and staff across the University are working hard to make the shift as smooth as possible, and your student will have support from the University. Thank you to each of you for your help and support. We are grateful for your partnership and quick action. We know for many families this will cause an unexpected disruption and yet it is one step you can take to help keep your student and your family safe. No matter where you and your student reside, our staff is available to help; please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

In my 36 years working in higher education, I have faced many crises, yet none like this. This global pandemic is unlike anything previously seen by any of us. We must help our students understand how vital it is to unite around this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing each of us to make sacrifices and changes. In the end, however, it is not about us. It's about our responsibility to our fellow human beings. Thank you for all you and your student are doing during this difficult time.

Finally, please continue to check our coronavirus website, which is being updated continually with new information: or email  


G. Corey Farris

Dean of Students 

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