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Coronavirus

University of Missouri students skeptical about new mask requirements

COLUMBIA Mo. (KMIZ)

Students at the University of Missouri are not quite sure the new mask requirements announced Tuesday afternoon will be enough to keep students in classes for the remainder of the semester.

The university sent out a mass email to students which require them to wear face coverings while on campus, inside and outside, when in a group or alone and the mask must also be worn over the mouth and nose.

Gabriel Levi and Aysia Grey, both freshman at MU, said they both still have their concerns.

"I'm glad that they put out the new order just because if it can make some type of change, I hope it does," Grey said. "But for example, we see people walking around right now who might not have looked at their email and it's like, people casually take their mask down all the time."

The new requirements also ask students to remain 6 feet apart when eating outdoors and to put fask masks back on immediately after eating.

New outdoor face covering requirements:

1.Wear face coverings while on campus, including when an individual is outside and alone. This policy means those who share a household (roommates, family members, etc.) will also wear face coverings when outdoors together on campus. This outdoor requirement will apply to the entire campus, including the MU Health Care areas.
2.Whenever a face covering is required, indoors and outdoors, it must always be kept over both the mouth and nose.
3.When individuals eat or drink together outdoors, they must remain at least 6 feet apart from others and put face coverings back on immediately after consumption is complete.

New indoor workspace face covering requirements:

1.WORKING ALONE IN AN OFFICE: Employees do not need to wear a face covering when working alone in a private office with the door shut.
2.DURING MEETINGS: Always wear a face covering in any in-person meeting, even if seated or standing 6 feet apart. Also, seating at a conference table should be arranged so that chairs are a minimum of 6 feet apart, including across the table.
3.FACE COVERINGS FOR PUBLIC INTERACTION: Those who have direct contact with the public, whether in a shared working space or alone in a public-facing office space, must always wear face coverings, even when behind plexiglass or other barriers. Supervisors can answer any questions about whether this applies to certain situations or employees.
4.WORKING WITHIN SHARED OFFICE SPACE: If employees work in a shared office space and are at least 6 feet away from others, they do not need to wear a face covering while seated at their workspaces, but it is highly recommended they do so. Employees do need to wear a face covering every time they stand up, including when standing and working at an adjustable desk as well as walking to other locations within the office. This requirement applies even when the workspace has a partition of any height.
5.WORKSPACES WITHIN 6 FEET: If employees work in a shared office space and the distance of the workspace from others is less than 6 feet, even if they have partitions, they must wear a face covering while seated or standing at their desks and at all times while in the shared space. In this case, employees will also need to eat in a break room or outside. There is no need to wear a mask if an employee is alone in the shared office for a period of time.
6.BREAKROOMS: When individuals eat or drink together indoors (like a breakroom), they must remain at least 6 feet apart from others and put face coverings back on immediately after consumption is complete.
7.Whenever a face covering is required, it must always be kept over both the mouth and nose.

The email sent out to students commending those in the community who fully embraced the COVID-19 protocols.

"It feels like they're more trying to appeal to PR rather than actually care about students," Levi said.

According to the email, the rules will be enforced with sanctions that can include suspension for students and disciplinary action for faculty and staff.

At the same time, across social media platforms, University of Missouri students quarantined because of COVID-19 have posted about being unhappy with accommodations from the university.

Students took to Twitter and Tik Tok to express their disapproval of the living conditions in hotel rooms and temporary apartments, as well as, meals the university is and is not providing.

According to the university's Show Me Renewal website, which was last updated on Tuesday afternoon, 658 students had active COVID-19 cases, representing 2.4% of the student body. It included 444 students have also recovered.

The New York Times ranked Columbia No. 6 for 'where the outbreak is worst now.' The list compiles COVID-19 data for metro areas with the greatest number of new cases, relative to population over the last two weeks.

MU asks students to make a list of those they were in close contact with to share with a case investigator in order to help the university's contact tracing team.

ABC 17 News reached out to some students posting on social media and to the university for comment but did not immediately hear back.

Boone / Columbia / Education / Missouri / News / Top Stories / University of Missouri

Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.

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