Springfield universities detail masking and COVID precautions as the start of the school year nears

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A visitor wearing a mask to protect against the spread of COVID-19 passes a sign requiring masks, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in San Antonio. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has declared masks or face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state as local officials across the state say their hospitals are becoming increasingly stretched and are in danger of becoming overrun as cases of the coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Drury University and Missouri State University shared new COVID-19 procedures, including masking guidelines.

For new and returning DU Panthers, masks will be required in classrooms and indoor gatherings where social distancing is not possible.

“Masks will not be required in residence halls, dining hall, individual offices and workspaces, or in areas that allow for social distancing,” Drury shared on Twitter.

The University says the masking policy will be re-evaluated every 30 days for revision based on on-campus vaccination rates and local COVID-19 conditions. Drury will be hosting a vaccination clinic on August 23 for all students, staff, and faculty, with vaccination incentives offered.

According to the Drury Panther Plan, all students living on campus will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test prior to moving into a residential facility. Anyone helping them move in will also need to supply proof of vaccination or a negative test. Commuter students will be required to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test on or before August 23.

“All unvaccinated students, staff, and faculty will be tested every 2 weeks, and unvaccinated athletes and their coaches will be tested weekly,” the plan states.

For more of Drury’s plan, click here.

Moving south to Missouri State, President Clif Smart shared in his Clif’s Notes that MSU will start the semester with a temporary masking policy. Smart says masks will be required indoors throughout campus and goes into effect Sunday, August 22.

He says there is an exception for classrooms holding intersession classes; masks will be required in those classrooms when intersession classes begin on August 16.

“We will re-evaluate the policy every 30 days, meaning the first review date has been set for September 21. If necessary, we will extend the policy. We will rely on the University’s Contingency Plan Guiding Principles when deciding how long the temporary mask policy should remain in place,” Smart says.

Smart did say that MSU has coordinated with OTC since there are many students who go to school at both locations. He adds OTC plans to announce a similar masking policy on Tuesday.

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