Local Colleges, Universities Cancel Classes Amid Threat Of The Novel Coronavirus
UPDATE at 11:00 p.m. Thursday, March 12: MSU has canceled classes for Friday, March 13, one day before Spring Break was set to begin. The campus-wide alert went out moments after Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced a second case of COVID-19 in the state, this one in Springfield.
College of the Ozarks is postponing students' return to campus after their spring break next week until further notice. Spring break will now run from March 16 to March 27. A transition to online learning is scheduled to begin March 30 and will continue until a determination is made that students can return to campus, according to a news release.
Drury University is also extending its spring break for one week. The university says it plans to resume all classes—both in person and online—on March 30.
Evangel University also plans to extend its spring break one additional week.
Ozarks Technical Community College has extended its spring break an additional week and said on its Facebook page that any seated classes that can be taught in an online format will resume online March 30. Those classes will remain online for the rest of the semester.
Original article from earlier Thursday, March 12:
Missouri State University and Southwest Baptist University officials have told their students to take their computers and text books with them when they leave for Spring Break—in case they won’t be back for a while.
Universities and colleges around the world are weighing the risks of requiring seated participation in class amid a growing outbreak of COVID-19.
“Students, take your books and computer with you when you leave for spring break,” MSU president Clif Smart said in a campus-wide email alert sent Thursday. “We will continue to assess whether we should temporarily move away from in-person delivery of classes and will provide an updated status no later than Thursday, March 19. This information will be sent via email and a Missouri State Alert.”
The Southwest Baptist University website has been updated to include the following instructions:
"During the week of March 23-27, the week after Spring Break, classes will not physically meet on any of SBU’s campuses. Classes will utilize Blackboard to facilitate the learning experience. Students must be prepared to resume classes online March 23, taking with them any required textbooks and other materials when leaving for Spring Break. Please continue to check Blackboard and your SBU email to stay in contact with your professors."
As of Thursday morning, there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in southwest Missouri or on either campus.