SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The first week of school for many colleges and universities in Springfield means new cases of COVID-19 on campus.
“It makes no sense to me why you would want to compromise yourself, your health and your family’s health and your friends’ health just to go out for a night,” said Olivia Huelshof, senior at Missouri State.
“I think a lot of people’s opinions are slowing changing with people getting sick already,” said Adrianna Webb, a sophomore at Missouri State.
At Missouri State University, nearly 50 students have tested positive this week. 29 new cases were reported on Thursday, August 20. The university’s website says 273 tests have been given between August 14 and August 20.
The average amount of new cases being confirmed is eight per day, but city leaders say the growing number doesn’t come as a surprise.
“Any time you add 25,000 people to a community, most of which have not been here and maybe are not aware of the restrictions in place and the increased risk of coming from other communities into our community, it’s certainly something we’re aware of,” said Chief Paul Williams, with the Springfield Police Department.
Last week, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported the largest group of new cases in the area are in young people aged 20 to 29.
Director Clay Goddard also shared continuing concerns over large gatherings, parties, and students going out to bars once classes begin again this fall.