Chancellor’s Message Regarding MU Coronavirus Response

Dear Campus Community,

As we told you earlier today, we have been made aware that a small group of MU faculty and students attended a conference in New Orleans this past weekend where one of the attendees who was not part of the MU group tested “presumptive positive” for the coronavirus.

As we already informed you, it’s important to note there are no known cases of COVID-19 on the MU campus.

The University remains open, and faculty and staff are expected to report to work. Out of an abundance of caution, we are taking the following actions:

  • We are working to properly address the needs of the students and faculty who attended the conference. None of them are showing symptoms, and their risk of contracting COVID-19 is considered low. These individuals are staying home and following the guidance of public health and medical professionals.
  • In-person classes will be suspended beginning at 5 p.m. today, March 11 through Sunday, March 15. During that time, faculty are instructed to put in place their plans to deliver instruction remotely. Existing online classes will continue as originally scheduled.
  • During the week of March 16 – 20, classes will be held remotely. Following spring break, we plan to resume in-person classes on Monday, March 30.
  • Effective immediately, all university-related non-essential international and domestic travel is suspended until April 12, including previously approved travel. This includes travel connected to university activities or programs for all faculty, staff and students, whether that travel is funded by the university, an external grant, or any other sources. Requests to engage in essential travel must be approved by deans, vice chancellors or vice provosts.
  • All nonessential university events will be cancelled until March 29. Necessary small meetings and athletic events will continue until further notice.
  • The University will continue to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

Additionally, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has activated a statewide public hotline, 877-435-8411, for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
We remain in touch with the Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services and health experts at MU Health Care. These actions are consistent with those taken at other universities and industry around the country.

If you feel sick and think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, please call ahead before visiting your health care provider. This will help the health care provider’s office take steps to keep other people from being exposed. Students who experience symptoms should contact the MU Student Health Center to discuss symptoms and travel history. Faculty and staff members who experience symptoms should contact their primary care provider.

For more information about the virus, actions you can take to keep yourself healthy and what MU is doing to prevent the spread of illness, please visit the MU Alert website.

We know this is a challenging time for our campus as well as many other communities. We thank you for supporting each other as we move forward.

Alexander N. Cartwright, Ph.D.
MU Chancellor