Officials in Lynchburg, Virginia, were fielding complaints Tuesday about the hundreds of students who have returned from their spring break to Liberty University, where President Jerry Falwell Jr. has welcomed them back amid the coronavirus pandemic. "We could not be more disappointed in the action that Jerry took in telling students they could come back and take their online classes on campus," Lynchburg City Manager Bonnie Svrcek told the AP.
Liberty, which is among the nation's largest and most prominent evangelical institutions, had initially planned to continue on-campus instruction. But last week, after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam restricted gatherings of more than 100, Liberty said it would transition most classes online. Residential students were told they were welcome to return to campus, however, and Liberty spokesman Scott Lamb said about 1,100 students were back on campus as of Tuesday morning. Read the full story for more on what the university says it is doing to protect students, and what Falwell has speculated about the virus.
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