COLUMBIA Mo. (KMIZ)
The University of Missouri sent out an email Wednesday notifying students and staff that it is planning to hold in-person classes in the fall.
Christian Basi, a spokesperson for MU, said they felt like they needed to send a note to the community to let them know the plans for coming back.
"So we are absolutely 100% planning on being back in the fall, and to do that we have to take a lot of action," Basi said. "This was mostly an update for our community to let them know and so that they can begin to plan."
The email states the university is in communication with public health officials and MU's health care experts to develop plans for a "new normal" on campus.
"We can't just flip a switch and have everyone back on campus. We have to do this in an orderly fashion and we also have to take into account the public health considerations related to having so many thousands of people come back on campus so, we want to establish practices," Basi said. "We want to establish procedures for individuals so that they feel safe coming back to their offices, interacting with people being in rooms with people."
MU's remote classes will continue through the summer.
One MU student said he trusts the administration to make the decision.
"I feel like the in-person classes make me want to go to class more often," said Evan Cameron, an MU student. "Even if they're telling us, you know, go back and everything like continue washing your hands sanitizing everything - you should be taking steps to ensure students stay healthy."
Basi said the university has a few hundred staff on campus now cleaning and disinfecting offices, building spaces and public areas.
He said the university is likely to see changes in procedures on campus.
"Some of those changes are likely to include additional hand sanitizing stations, for example, they may also include certain signs around campus or reminders about how folks can keep themselves safe from infecting anyone or coming in contact with any kind of virus," Basi said. "We also will likely talk with public health officials and try to educate individuals on the best ways to interact with their office, coworkers, and the best way to keep themselves safe if they are in an office that has a lot of people in it."
Basi said if the university doesn't get ahead now, it could affect its ability to return in the fall.
"We have to do a lot of planning for that now. If we don't do that now, we won't be back to fall so, that's why we are 100% planning to be back in the fall," Basi said. "At the same time, we're watching the situation carefully and we'll be able to be flexible, should we be forced to make any changes but right now, our focus is on returning in the fall, and having all of our students back in the fall."