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Moberly Area Community College stops in-person classes

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Moberly Area Community College said Friday it will suspend in-person classes until spring break because of the COVID-19 outbreak, becoming the latest Mid-Missouri higher education institution to make the decision.

The community college said on its website that leaders met and made the decision Friday morning. The suspension of in-person classes starts Monday and continues until April 6. Spring break takes place March 21-29.

Classes that had been conducted in-person will take place online after spring break until April 6, the college said.

Columbia College also said Friday that it will suspend in-person classes at its campuses nationwide to help slow the spread of novel coronavirus. Classes will happen online through the end of the spring semester, the college said in a news release.

No cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus that has killed more than 40 people in the United States, have been identified at Columbia College campuses. Leaders said the move was being taken as a precaution.

“The health and well-being of our students, faculty and staff around the country is our main focus every day, and this situation obviously requires increased scrutiny and action on our part,” President Scott Dalrymple said. “Making this transition allows our students to continue their educational pursuits while dramatically reducing the risk of possible exposure and transmission of COVID-19.”

Westminster College in Fulton said Friday morning that it was also moving in-person classes online and extending spring break.

College spokeswoman Sarah Backer said spring break starts March 16. She said students are anticipated to return to campus on March 28 but it's not clear yet whether in-person classes will resume then.

Westminster is moving classes to its digital learning program, utilizing school-issued iPads.

The school started a COVID-19 taskforce to monitor the spread of the virus. The task force is working with the CDC, the state health department, as well as the Callaway County Health Department.

The move follows other calls made by other Mid-Missouri universities. The University of Missouri said Wednesday that on-campus classes were canceled for the rest of the week and classes will be held online next week.

Lincoln University extended its spring break through March 20 and suspended in-person classes. Stephens College and Williams Woods University made similar announcements Thursday.

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Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.

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