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Southwest Baptist University’s classes are scheduled to be online-only during the week of March 23-27.
Photo courtesy Southwest Baptist University
Southwest Baptist University’s classes are scheduled to be online-only during the week of March 23-27.

Higher ed on alert amid coronavirus concerns

Posted online

Last edited 12:19 p.m., March 12, 2020

Area colleges and universities are taking precautions to deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

Southwest Baptist University announced its classes would be online-only during the week of March 23-27, and Missouri State, Drury and Evangel universities, as well as Ozarks Technical Community College, are making preparations should the virus spread into Springfield, according to school officials.

In a news release, SBU officials said faculty and staff offices will reopen March 23 after the school’s March 16-20 spring break. Internal campus events are canceled through March 29, and external events, including required athletic events, are currently still scheduled. Drury additionally announced it will delay classes by a week after spring break.

MSU,  Evangel and OTC have not announced campus closure plans, though school officials are encouraging students to take their class materials with them during spring break in case online-only classes are enacted.

“We are doing all we can to preserve your instruction and avoid interruptions to your educational progress,” OTC Chancellor Hal Higdon wrote in a message to students, posted to the school’s website.

At Drury, the Midwest Regional tournament for women’s basketball scheduled to be held on its campus this weekend will only be available to the teams and “essential staff and limited family attendance,” according to a news release.

Reached this morning, Springfield-Greene County Health Department spokeswoman Kathryn Wall said there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Greene County.

The University of Missouri-Columbia and Washington University are among schools statewide that have temporarily called off in-person classes in response to coronavirus.

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