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LIBERTY — Leadership at William Jewell College announced Thursday, April 23, that the campus will reopen for in-person classes on Aug. 26, according to a press release.

“We are committed to our plan to provide students a safe living and learning experience on campus for the fall semester,” said Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, president. “With support from the Board of Trustees, City of Liberty and Clay County Public Health Center, we intend for William Jewell College to be open for in-person classes and co-curricular activities in August.”

MacLeod Walls says Jewell is uniquely poised to ensure the health and safety of the Jewell community.

First, the college partnered with MRIGlobal, international biorisk experts. MRIGlobal has reviewed Jewell’s safety practices and will train faculty, staff and students on the best protocols for the current health care climate. Headquartered in Kansas City, MRIGlobal will conduct biological cleanup if anyone on campus is diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Second, Jewell already collaborates closely with health care teams and administrators at Liberty Hospital and will continue to work closely with Liberty Hospital to ensure that students have access to quality health care.

Third, students have access to the campus Health Center, staffed by an experienced nurse practitioner, at no charge.

Fourth, upon request, students will be given private residence hall rooms at no extra cost.

Fifth, Clay County is providing free COVID-19 testing, which will be available for students.

Extensive planning is already underway to prepare for the return of students.

“Our size and expert partnerships allow us to pivot quickly as health protocols change,” said MacLeod Walls. “We will be ready to welcome our students the moment it is deemed appropriate to re-open the campus. It may look a little different than a traditional semester ...”

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