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University of Missouri announces plans to reopen campus for fall semester

The University of Missouri announced that it plans to reopen for the fall semester.

“We had a ton of people asking us, ‘Are you going to reopen campus in the fall?’ The answer is yes, we are planning on it,” Christian Basi, MU spokesman, said. “And if it is going to happen, we have to plan. We are also keeping a close eye on the crisis and staying flexible enough to change course if need be.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, MU started offering all classes online on March 16 and eventually shut the campus down on March 23, except for essential employees, including research projects that couldn’t be stopped, clinical activities in human and veterinary medicine and security.

“While remote classes will continue through the summer, we expect to return to in-person operations and classes this fall,” Mun Choi, who is serving as MU chancellor and UM System president, said Wednesday in a notice to the campus community. “We know that many, if not all of you, are anxious to return to campus — to your offices, your classrooms, your laboratories.”

He said teams of university leaders are working “in consultation with public health officials and Mizzou’s own health-care experts” on plans for to reopen campus “within a new normal that we expect will be necessary.”

Choi’s announcement came as some groups and political leaders are calling for a quick reopening of the economy. Yet national health officials are concerned that ending stay-at-home orders while the nation doesn’t have enough COVID-19 tests could spur a second wave of the virus.

Currently, Choi said, workers are disinfecting campus buildings.

“We expect staff and faculty will return in phases once the pandemic reaches new stages of decline,” he said. “We are also developing new social distancing procedures that could impact how we teach our classes, run our meetings or conduct our research.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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