Missouri S&T coronavirus cases are still rising, but at a substantially slower rate. The week of September 21st to September 25th proved a good one, with only 7 students and 0 employees testing positive for COVID-19. This is much lower from the previous weeks. Our highest numbers were reported the week of August 31st to September 4th, with 36 students and 1 employee testing positive. The numbers have continued to go down since then and Missouri S&T is hoping it stays that way. Since starting the school year, Missouri S&T has seen a total of 103 positive cases, 97 of those cases being students and the other 6 being employees. 94 of those 103 cases have already recovered.
Compared to other universities in Missouri, Missouri S&T’s cases are relatively low. Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri has reported almost 1000 positive student cases since the start of the semester. University of Missouri (Mizzou) in Columbia, Missouri has reported over 1500 positive student cases. The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri has reported 450 cases since March 2020. St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri has reported about 140 cases this semester. As of September 4th, over 7,000 college students in Missouri had tested positive for coronavirus since the return to campuses in mid-August. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the United States, listed Missouri as one of seven hotspot states that needs to “remain on alert and observe precautions going into Labor Day weekend” three weeks ago. Missouri was on this list along with North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana and neighboring states Illinois, Iowa, and Arkansas. Missouri has recorded over 121,000 positive coronavirus cases with St. Louis County having the most at over 23,000 cases. Phelps County has reported about 450 positive cases since March, and the amount of active cases seems to be trending down.
Despite the progression of cases across Missouri, no Missouri colleges or universities have released plans to go completely online this semester. This comes as a surprise to many students who believed that all universities would be sending their students back home about 2 weeks to a month after starting school. Fortunately for college students across Missouri, that prediction has not come true. “I was expecting to be sent home at this point in the semester already due to COVID-19. I’m very happy to still be on campus, and a mix of in-person and online classes on S&T’s campus is much better than taking all of my classes this semester online at home” says Missouri S&T sophomore Julia Meyr. Schools like the University of North Carolina and Michigan State University moved completely online a couple weeks ago due to a drastic amount of positive coronavirus cases from students after opening up for the 2020 fall semester.
With a month and a half of the fall 2020 semester down, it seems entirely possible that Missouri S&T will be able to hang on for the long haul. If students at Missouri S&T continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines, students may be able stay on campus for the rest of the semester. Wearing a mask, following social distancing guidelines, performing self-health checks, and frequently hand washing/sanitizing are all part of Missouri S&T’s COVID-19 plan that has been able to keep students safe.
Picture by Alyssa Crum.