King University: No reported COVID-19 cases as of September 7

Local Coronavirus Coverage

BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL)- Officials with King University in Bristol, Tennessee said they’ve had no reported cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the fall semester.

King University is now in its third week of classes and campus leaders told News Channel 11’s Kristen Gallant they’re doing everything they can to keep students, faculty, and athletes safe while keeping them on campus.

King University’s President, Alexander Whitaker IV, said they started preparing for students return and the fall semester back in April.

“We make the case to our students that frankly, they’re safer on campus then engaged in activities off-campus…Many college presidents assumed that the on-campus population would dwindle this fall but that’s certainly not the case for King. We’ve maintained essentially the same numbers,” Whitaker said.

While King’s on-campus class sizes have remained the same, their health and safety procedures have changed in the classroom, dorms, and dining hall.

“The self-serve stations have gone away, all food now is served,” explained Whitaker, “We have spread out the seating to meet state standards”

Everyone is required to wear a mask inside the classroom.

Students who live on campus have roommates, but a portion of the dorms are sectioned off for isolation areas if the need were to arise.

“We’ve set aside approximately 10 percent of our residence hall capacity for purposes of isolation and quarantine when we need to do that,” Whitaker said.

Athletic Director David Hicks also said they are taking extra safety precautions when it comes to sports teams.

“All of our teams are practicing and training in what we’re calling functional training groups…Those five practice together, they lift weights together, they don’t intermingle in terms of practice and training,” Hicks said.

King University officials hope these procedures will help minimize exposure and are optimistic about the Fall semester when it comes to athletics.

“Some of our lower-level sports like golf and tennis, possibly cross country which is a medium level at-risk sport, will get to do some competition this fall,” Hicks said.

King does have the capability to transition all of their classes to online if they need to, but say the ideal situation is to keep students in the classroom.

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