COLUMBIA, Missouri (KMIZ)
Stephens College plans to run online classes for at least the first two weeks of the spring semester.
Stephens in a press release attributed the decision to move online courses to a nationwide increase in COVID-19, particularly the omicron variant.
“We are proud of the fact that Stephens continues to be a community that meets and exceeds local COVID requirements,” Stephens College President Dianne Lynch said in the statement.
A spokesperson said the virtual classes are expected to last from Monday to January 21. As of December 15, there was two active cases of COVID-19 among the students.
The school will also require that all students and staff, regardless of their vaccine status, test negative for COVID-19 before returning to campus. Stephens College plans to require anyone who is unvaccinated to test for the virus weekly.
“This is why we have an overall vaccination rate of 91% and, at least in part, why there has been a very minimal outbreak on our campus. As we move towards a new wave of omicron, we will continue. to take extra care until there is a better understanding of the implications of the new variant, ”said Lynch.
Stephens College plans to offer students and staff testing for the coronavirus until the end of this month.
Columbia College officials are reviewing the plans before classes start on Monday, spokesman Sam Fleury said.
The University of Missouri plans to teach in-person when the semester begins Jan. 18, a spokesperson said on Tuesday. MU has seen a significant increase in student active coronavirus cases this week. The university reported 41 new active cases on Tuesday for a total of 129 – well above any total recorded during the fall semester. Cases reached their 30s by the end of the fall semester.
Boone County active coronavirus cases jumped over 1,000 on Monday after the long holiday weekend.