In an effort to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the University of Missouri System will suspend all in-person classes and move courses online for the remainder of the semester, system leadership announced Friday.
The decision applies to all four of the system’s campuses — Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis — effective Monday.
“We are taking this action with an abundance of caution for the health of students, faculty, staff and visitors,” said a note to the university community, signed by UM System President Mun Choi and the chancellors of the four campuses.
Their note cited decisions Friday by President Donald Trump and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, who both declared emergencies to combat the virus.
The move to online courses comes at the end of a week that has seen other colleges and universities across the state and country make similar decisions in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. As of Thursday afternoon, there were more than 1,600 confirmed cases of the virus and 41 deaths across the U.S., according to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
On Wednesday, the UM System announced it would hold remote classes next week, the week before the system’s spring break. Friday’s announcement extends that decision through the end of the semester in mid-May.
All four universities will remain “open and operational,” according to the letter. They will continue to make libraries, residence halls and dining halls available in an effort to let students to continue their education.