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NWMSU reflects on the handling of COVID-19 at the university

Back in August, Northwest saw a serious spike in COVID-19 cases and was considered a hot-spot. The city of Maryville acted quickly and enforced a mask-mandate while the university made some changes to slow the cases down.

Posted: Dec 8, 2020 6:29 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2020 10:25 AM

(MARYVILLE, Mo.) As the semester comes to an end, Northwest Missouri State University takes a look back on how they strategically handled the pandemic.

"This has been an absolute unique, unprecedented experience," said Brad Scott, a member of the university's crisis management team.

Back in August, Northwest saw a serious spike in COVID-19 cases and was considered a hot-spot.  The city of Maryville acted quickly and enforced a mask-mandate while the university made some changes to slow the cases down.

"One thing we did that might've been unique to us that I'm not sure if others implemented this or not, was you don't typically see a seating chart in colleges and universities.  

Brad Scott and the COVID-19 Crisis Management team asked the faculty at the university to send them seating charts in each class in order to contact trace.  "That was something new that we did this year. And what that allowed us to do is know exactly where an individual was sitting in that class and we can go into that seating chart and know exactly how many and what individuals were seated in a specific proximity of that case."

Scott said instead of having to go in and quarantine the whole class, the contact tracing team could narrow it down to specific individuals and hopefully keep the classroom in place as long as they could.

No decisions have been made yet to make any changes for next semester, but the crisis management team will continue to look to local medical professionals and administrators on what proper steps will need to be made when the students return in January on the 13th. 

The fall semester ends this Friday as students take their finals online.  

To look at the numbers, the university had a total of 744 COVID-19 cases on and off-campus throughout the fall semester.  155 on-campus and 528 off-campus.  There is currently only one active case on campus. 

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