News Briefs

University of Missouri moving online after Thanksgiving due to COVID spread

By: - November 12, 2020 3:43 pm

The seven-day positive rate on PCR tests, the ones with long swabs that are sent to labs for analysis, stood at 8.8 percent on Thursday, down from a peak of 15.2 percent in early August. Hospitalizations, which exceeded 2,450 inpatients in the third week of August, were down by one-third by Thursday (image courtesy of CDC).

In an effort to reduce student population in the Columbia region during a surge of COVID-19 cases, the University of Missouri announced Thursday that classes would be moved online after Thanksgiving break.

“While our experts say that MU students have not presented a direct burden to the local hospitals because they have not needed hospitalization, we are all members of the broader community,” Mun Choi, chanceller and UM system president, said in a statement. “And as the community strives to gain control of the virus, a temporary thinning of the student population is helpful.”

The university said its Columbia campus has had an 80 percent decrease in student cases since Labor Day, when cases peaked.

The Department of Health and Senior Services reported this morning a record 4,603 new infections across the state, the third consecutive day of more than 4,000 new cases and the fifth time in the last six days.

The new cases reported Thursday pushed the seven-day average of reported cases above 4,000 per day for the first time, to 4,113.6 per day. The seven-day average was 2,291 per day on Nov. 1 and 1,057 per day on Oct. 1.

Meanwhile, three hospitals in Columbia launched a new color-coded system Tuesday for warning the community when stress from a rising number of COVID-19 patients makes it difficult to take additional patients or provide care for other ailments.

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.