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Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Liberty University announced a campus-wide temporary "mitigation period" on Thursday due to a recent surge in COVID-19 cases at the school.

Why it matters: The move illustrates the challenges ahead for universities returning to full, in-person classes without vaccine mandates or other virus-related precautions in place.

Details: The temporary mitigation period will stretch from Aug. 30 to Sept. 10.

  • All classes will move online and large indoor gatherings will be suspended.

Worth noting: Outdoor events, such as the football team's opening game scheduled for Sept. 4, are expected to move forward as planned.

  • Masks and social distancing are encouraged across campus, but not mandated.

Driving the news: The campus reported 159 active cases of COVID-19 according to its dashboard.

  • The vaccination rate in Lynchburg, Virginia, where the evangelical Christian school is located, is 38%, compared to the state's 56% rate.

The big picture: Liberty has taken a more relaxed approach to handling COVID-19 compared to other colleges and universities nationwide.

  • In March 2020, Liberty students were allowed to return to campus when at the time most colleges were closed completely due to the rise of COVID-19 cases.
  • While there will be free vaccine clinics at Liberty, per The Hill, there is no vaccine mandate at the school.

What they're saying: "We are taking the necessary steps and actions to lighten the burden to our medical service providers, the local hospital resources, and to do our part to keep our community safe," said Keith Anderson, Liberty’s executive director of student health and wellness.

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - Health

Supreme Court declines to block Maine health care workers vaccine mandate

A Maine health care worker prepares vaccine dose. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an emergency appeal of a vaccine mandate for Maine health care workers.

The big picture: The mandate, which was announced in August by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, says that Maine health care workers need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs and not qualifying for unemployment benefits.

Updated 16 mins ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 16 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."