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.

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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