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Students taking ordinance seriously

In light of an emergency town ordinance enacted by Farmville Town Council Wednesday, Aug. 19, to limit gatherings to 50 people just days before Longwood University students returned for classes, both Farmville Police Department and Longwood University Police Department say they are pleased with how things are going.

The ordinance is designed to help prevent large gatherings of college students and keep the spread of the COVID-19 virus controlled once Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College students return to town.

According to Farmville Police Chief Andy Ellington, his department has received less than five calls concerning the ordinance, each of which was unfounded, and no violations were noted.

“Each call was located in the Buffalo Street area,” Ellington said. “I am pleased to say that this past weekend we had no calls, and I am very pleased with the cooperation and respect the students have portrayed since their return to school.”

The Farmville Police Department has jurisdiction for off-campus housing, which includes housing on Buffalo Street.

Longwood Police Chief Doug Mooney said Monday morning his officers have not responded to any calls related to the town ordinance, either on or off-campus.

“I am very pleased with what I have seen concerning student compliance with the town ordinance on group sizes, social distancing rules, and wearing face coverings,” Mooney said. “Students are taking this seriously and holding each other accountable to the health guidelines in place.”

Over the weekend, Longwood reported three positive cases of COVID-19 among students.

The emergency ordinance also requires face coverings in public places in the Town of Farmville, except for a few exceptions, such as when eating, drinking, or when considering those with medical conditions where a face covering would be a hazard. Children younger than 10 are not required to wear a face mask.