COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
In an email sent to University of Missouri students and staff Thursday afternoon, MU Chancellor Mun Choi updated the school's on-campus mask policy.
As of Thursday, students who are alone and socially distanced from others will not be required to wear a face covering on campus.
This adjustment is the second this week after university officials updated the mask policy on Tuesday to require anyone on campus to wear a mask except for those exercising or working in a private office.
People on campus who are within six feet of others are still required to wear a mask, even when outdoors, according to the latest version of the policy.
Some University of Missouri students say it’s hard to keep up with all of the different emails.
“It’s getting confusing,” said MU Sophomore Brianna Cooper. “Nobody really knows exactly what they want and some people see some emails, and some don't see others. I never know whether I’m supposed to wear outside or if I’m supposed to wear it when I’m within distance of people. I think it's just probably best to wear it overall.”
While another student agrees that the multiple mask policy modifications are overwhelming at times, he said that wearing a mask is pretty simple.
“I think the university is kind of like unsure just like everybody else,” said Sam Burke, a MU senior. “Nobody's really like certain of what the right thing to do is and they keep like modifying as things change. I think everyone should be wearing a mask though. It's a simple thing to do.”
MU spokesman Christian Basi said the university made adjustments to the policy after speaking with health officials and receiving feedback.
Basi said the plan was never intended to be set in stone.
“We always knew that the information about this disease has evolved on a day to day basis,” Basi said. “The information about what we can and shouldn't be doing has evolved, on a day to day basis. So, we're not doing our job if we're not flexible.”
University officials say they understand this many changes in a short amount of time can be a lot to take in but they feel it's important to make adjustments.
“The catch with that is is that the information is constantly changing,” said Basi. “If we don't make these changes and we may not be implementing best practices we have to be flexible. Take a look at these new regulations and rules. It's really important, because every time we change something or do something for a specific reason, and for the safety of the community.”
Basi said the most important thing the university wants students, staff and community members to do is wear a mask around anyone who is not a family member and to keep six feet of distance.
Cooper said although the constant changes are frustrating, she believes the university is just trying to do its best to keep everyone safe but also trying to placate some of the wants people have.
Burke said he will take advantage of not wearing a mask while outside and when he is alone.
“I'll put the mask on if I walk by somebody,” said Burke. “But if I'm.. by myself... I don't want to wear a mask. I mean my glasses fogged up endlessly all day and it's just kind of a hassle, but I'll be safe when I'm walking by somebody.”
Choi said the rest of the university's mask policy remains in effect until further notice.