JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson met Thursday with officials from four Missouri universities in the State Capitol.
The meeting was held to discuss higher learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic as universities around the state prepare to welcome students back to campus.
Those universities that attended the meeting were the University of Missouri System, Lincoln University, University of Missouri Saint Louis and Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Reporters were barred from the meeting but the group held a news conference afterward.
Watch a replay of the news conference in the player below.
Parson said the state will do everything they can to help make sure students and professors can get back into the classroom, but he believes they are prepared.
Parson said it's important for everyone to understand that the social distancing is six feet apart, within a 15 minute time period. He said many people leave that part but that we need to be aware of that especially when returning to school.
“One of the scenarios they said was what if a teacher comes to me and says, ‘Hey, I got a student's positive,” Parson said. “What do I do? Do I shut the whole class down? But they've all got a plan in place for that.”
Mun Choi Um System president said all universities in Missouri will require all students and faculty to wear masks and to social distance inside the classrooms.
Parson said the universities have a plan ready for if a student tests positive or COVID-19 and an area set up for students to quarantine where they will still be able to continue school.
“All of our universities have quarantining space,” Choi said. “So that students can be moved into that space. In addition to that, how we determine where when we're going to be, let's say going back into remote operation, really depends on the disease spread within that community, and the capabilities of our hospital system to be able to treat the patient.”
The University of Missouri will require students to go through a training on COVID-19 precautions, how to take your temperature and will use an app to see whether the students can come to class or not.
“For those students that cannot come to the classroom,” Choi said. “Then there will be an option to take the online component for that particular session for let's say two weeks. And then after they get the all clear they'll be able to come back.”
If a student tests positive the university’s contact tracers will determine who is considered as a close contact said Choi.
Choi said it’s very important for students and faculty to follow the procedures that are put in place at school and when they go home.