Springfield colleges extend masking requirements on campus

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 4:45 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - COVID-19 cases are trending down, but Springfield colleges continue to mask up. Ozark Technical Community College, Missouri State University, and Drury University all established mask mandates before students came back to class for the fall semester.

“Hospitalization rates have gone down. Vaccination rates, especially in Greene County, hit the 50% mark,” said OTC Spokesperson Mark Miller. “That’s fantastic, but they are not really where they need to be for us to let our guard down. So just to keep everyone safe, we decided let’s keep the masking requirement in place at least for another 30 days.”

The number of COVID-19 cases is significantly lower on campus compared to last year.

“So far lately, they’ve been in the single digits, weekly infection rates,” said Miller. “So masking has worked. Vaccines have worked.”

MSU and Drury also are requiring students to wear masks in classrooms to slow the spread of COVID-19. Students at OTC are expected to wear a mask anywhere on campus unless actively eating or drinking.

“It’s important to keep masking because health is the main thing. We want to focus on the health and safety of our students, our employees, and visitors,” said Miller.

Students at MSU and Drury only have to wear a mask in academic buildings, but that mandate is likely to stay in effect throughout the fall semester.

OTC, Drury, and MSU will continue to evaluate if masks should be required on campus every 30 days. Evangel University has not required students to wear masks on campus this semester.

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