MU releases plans for in-person return to campus this fall
‘Show Me Renewal’ initiative emphasizes social distancing, monitoring of symptoms; plans likely to change as situation evolves
June 29, 2020
Contact: Liz McCune, 573-882-6212, firstname.lastname@example.org
COLUMBIA, Mo. – As the University of Missouri continues preparing for a return to in-person classes this fall, officials have created plans utilizing advice from public health officials, its own medical experts, and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those plans, which include protocols related to face coverings, contact tracing and online trainings, are being released today, but will continue to evolve in the coming weeks.
“We have been working diligently to welcome our students, faculty and staff back to campus this fall while creating a safe environment for teaching, learning and working,” said Mun Y. Choi, UM System president and interim MU chancellor. “We are fortunate to have a talented team of more than 135 professionals who have been working for months to determine the details of our reopening plan. Our campus benefits tremendously from our world-class medical experts and extensive health care system, which is right here on our campus.”
The university’s plans are focused on an in-person fall return, with creative use of technology and online strategies to achieve social distancing. The university is also preparing for shifts to more remote instruction if needed in response to changing public health conditions.
“Our students, faculty and staff are eager to fulfill our university’s vital missions of education, research, engagement and service to our state,” said Latha Ramchand, MU provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Flexibility is essential as this global pandemic evolves, and we are closely monitoring the public health situation and guidance at local, state, federal and global levels. We’re far from the only university experiencing this, but I am tremendously appreciative of the hard work of our faculty and staff as we get closer to the fall.”
The current plans include the following:
- Face coverings will be required in classrooms and recommended in buildings when social distancing is not possible. While all students, faculty and staff are expected to supply their own face coverings upon their return to campus, the university will have a limited supply of backup face coverings for students who may forget to bring them to class. Face covering practices will be aligned with local restrictions, should those change.
- If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, MU will work with public health officials to conduct contact tracing to isolate those members of the university community and others who may have been impacted.
- Training on fall semester practices and expectations will be required for all students before arriving on campus. These online trainings are being developed and more information will be provided soon.
Detailed reports on areas such as testing, contact tracing, academics, research and student life can be found on MU’s Show Me Renewal website.
“We will continue to evaluate procedures that emphasize safety on our campus,” Choi said. “New campus policies will impact nearly every aspect of campus life, including how we live, study and work. Our success will depend on everyone in our community sharing responsibility in our collective health and well-being.”