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UMKC, Mizzou And Kansas City University Move To Online Only Classes To Limit Spread Of Coronavirus

University of Missouri
University of Missouri
The University of Missouri in Columbia is suspending in-person classes for a few weeks to limit COVID-19 from spreading.

UMKC joined several other of the Kansas City's region's universities Thursday in announcing students would move to online-only coursework in order to limit the spread of the new coronavirus. 

Though no cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, have been confirmed in Kansas City, Missouri, UMKC officials said in a statement "we are doing our part to limit exposure to our campus family and to limit the spread of the disease."

School officials also said all spring and summer study abroad programs will be canceled, as well as all university-related international travel. 

Classes at UMKC will be completely canceled Friday, March 13, to allow faculty time to prepare for the move to online-only work.

On Wednesday, Kansas City University, the medical school in northeast Kansas City, and the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, told students, staff and faculty that classes will be held remotely for the next few weeks.

In a letter, MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright explained that the move was prompted by students and faculty possibly being exposed to the virus at a conference in New Orleans. However, he said no cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, have been identified.

KCU Provost Edward R. O’Connor likewise said in a letter that the university's move was proactive and that no known exposures occurred at its campuses in Kansas City and Joplin, where classes will also be suspended. About 1,000 students at both campuses will be affected.

The University of Missouri suspended classes in Columbia beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday. The classes will remain suspended through Sunday, March 15. Classes will be held remotely until that time.

After spring break, which is scheduled to run from March 23 through March 27, in-person classes are set to resume on March 30. 

KCU announced that in-person classes and lectures would be suspended immediately until at least March 31.  Students have been told to expect more information in coming days.

Alex Smith is a health reporter for KCUR. You can reach him by email at alexs@kcur.org.

As a health care reporter, I aim to empower my audience to take steps to improve health care and make informed decisions as consumers and voters. I tell human stories augmented with research and data to explain how our health care system works and sometimes fails us. Email me at alexs@kcur.org.
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