The Missouri State Board of Governors met on Dec. 11 to discuss options for students returning to campus.

Concerning the spring semester and students returning to campus, Missouri State University President Clif Smart said the university has “significantly more ability” to test for COVID-19. MSU has been approved by the State of Missouri for use of rapid testing. These test types show results quicker than regular COVID-19 tests.

Students returning to campus housing after winter break might also be required to be tested before the return, according to both Smart and MSU COVID-19 testing policies.

“We are coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to do testing of students returning to (on-campus) housing,” Smart said. “We will be using the rapid tests and also saliva tests, and the research going on will validate the ability of those tests to detect the virus. That will occur over the first two weeks of the semester.”

According to Smart, plans to require COVID-19 tests are still being worked on but will go into effect on Jan. 11, 2021. Tests will be free, though anybody who refuses must quarantine for fourteen days in designated university housing or in their own homes.

Masking policies have also been tweaked, allowing guest speakers to remove their masks indoors as long as there is 20-feet between them and their audience. This does not apply to professors in seated classes.

Masks must also be worn at certain outdoor activities where social distancing is not feasible. These activities will be designated by signage throughout the location.


Follow Tinsley Merriman on Twitter, @merrimantinsley

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