President's Email to Campus Community (October 5)

The following email was sent from the president's office to the Missouri State community on October 5, 2021.

Subject: Updated Masking Policy, effective October 11

To: Students, Faculty and Staff, Springfield Campus

We are transitioning to a masking requirement in academic buildings, clinics and classrooms only.

This policy will go into effect Monday, Oct. 11. We plan to finish the semester with this policy in place.

That means, beginning Oct. 11, masking will no longer be required indoors at the Plaster Student Union, in dining and residence halls, in the Foster Family Rec center, in the library except in specific designated places, and in athletics and entertainment venues.

Greenwood Lab School and the Child Development Center policies will remain unchanged.

We have discussed this policy with and received input from our academic and administrative leadership teams, other education institutions, health leaders, and faculty, SGA and Staff Senate leadership. This input improved the updated policy.

Our updated policy is similar to the policies in place at Drury and UM’s four campuses. They have had limited COVID cases as well. Since OTC only has academic buildings, this also aligns with their policy.

We have not eliminated the masking requirement completely because some of the metrics still place Greene County as an area of substantial transmission. We don’t know what the winter months will bring as people spend more time inside, and we don’t want to be changing policies multiple times.

Originally, we adopted our indoor masking policy based on CDC and Greene County Health Department recommendations because our county was a high transmission area based on the following key metrics.

  1. Cases per day (over 40).
  2. Cases per week per 100,000 people (over 100).
  3. Positivity rate (over 10%).

We are now under the high transmission rate on positivity and have been for several weeks. We are projected to be under in the other two metrics soon.

As we make policy decisions based on their guidance and data, we believed it was time to adjust our indoor mask policy.

This is also a good time in the semester to do it as we are at the halfway point with fall break this week.

Thanks for all you do for Missouri State.

Clif

Clifton M. Smart III
President