King University Transitions to Distance Learning, Delays Commencement

BRISTOL, Tenn., March 24, 2020 — In light of heightened COVID-19 concerns, King University has announced that all remaining classes for the spring 2020 semester will be completed via distance learning.

As an added measure, King will delay its spring commencement ceremony, originally scheduled for May 2. The popular event typically draws thousands of guests to campus for a processional around the campus oval and the announcement of student honors and degrees.

“As we all work toward minimizing risk and maintaining a healthy community, we know it is in the best interest of everyone at King and in our region to keep our on-campus population as small as possible for now,” said Alexander Whitaker, president of the University. “Our hearts are certainly with our students and their families, especially our seniors, as we navigate these challenging days, and we will do everything we can to help ease this transition and celebrate our graduates’ well-earned degrees.”

Although the commencement ceremony will be delayed, the conferring of degrees will take place as scheduled on May 15, 2020, for those who have completed requirements.

King has been proactive in its efforts to preserve the health of students, faculty, and staff. Earlier this month, the University canceled study abroad trips, instituted enhanced cleaning protocols and meal preparation procedures, extended spring break by an additional week, and converted all courses to distance learning platforms. King also created a regularly updated COVID-19 resource page on its website, which can be reviewed here.

An announcement will be made at a future date regarding the rescheduling of commencement.

For more information on King University, visit


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate in Virginia. King’s primary location in Virginia is Southwest Virginia Community College, 724 Community College Rd, Cedar Bluff, and VA 24609.

WCSA Temporarily Suspends Service Disconnections

ABINGDON, Va. — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) is temporarily suspending disconnection of water and sewer service due to nonpayment of bills.

“In light of the numerous closings and other precautionary measures taking place as a result of the spread of this virus, we feel it is in the best interest of our customers to relax our policy on nonpayment during this time,” says Robbie Cornett, general manager of WCSA.

WCSA customers may contact the customer service department at 276-628-7151 should they have any questions about their service.

More About WCSA

The WCSA serves approximately 22,000 water connections and 2,300 wastewater connections in Washington County, Virginia, and surrounding areas. The water system consists of an estimated 900 miles of water line, a 12-million-gallon-per-day surface water treatment plant, a 3.1-million-gallon-per-day membrane filtration plant, two springs, one well, 29 pump stations and 22 water storage tanks. The wastewater system consists of approximately 70 miles of wastewater collection lines, 29 lift stations and two wastewater treatment plants. For more information about WCSA, visit


For additional information, contact Robbie Cornett,
general manager, at 276-628-7151, ext. 224.

YMCA of Bristol to Idle During Recommended Closure

Bristol, Tenn. — In line with the Center for Disease Control’s recommended policies concerning the spread of COVID-19, the YMCA of Bristol will be closing on Monday, March 16, at 9 p.m. and tentatively re-opening Monday, March 30, 2020.

The YMCA Board of Directors and CEO Rick Matthews announced the decision Monday.

“As an organization rooted in social responsibility, we must do our part and take the steps needed to help slow the spread of this virus,” Matthews says. “Our decision to temporarily close the facility is based on the advice of state and national government and health agencies, and has one central goal in mind – to protect the health and well-being of our community and staff. We will continue to monitor the situation so that we make the most informed and thoughtful decisions throughout this unprecedented event.”

Matthews notes that the staff is employing intensive maintenance and sanitation policies throughout the facility, and also preparing alternative healthy living resources for members to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes. These resources will soon be available on the YMCA of Bristol website,


About the YMCA of Bristol

The YMCA of Bristol is a leading nonprofit organization committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA’s mission is to strengthen the community by improving the quality of life and inspiring individuals and families to develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind and body.

For more information about the YMCA of Bristol, contact (423) 968-3133, or visit