For the first time since the start of the fall 2020 semester last August, Missouri S&T has no reported active cases of COVID-19 among its student and employee population. But university administrators and medical experts say it’s still too soon to relax precautions against the virus.
“This is great news, but we cannot let down our guard,” says Dr. Dennis Goodman, Missouri S&T’s chief medical officer. “We must continue the steps we’ve taken throughout the academic year that have led to zero active cases.”
Those steps include requiring facial coverings in classrooms and common areas around campus, maintaining social distancing, limiting gatherings to 10 people or fewer, and encouraging people to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly, monitor their health for symptoms of COVID-19, and stay home if they are sick or have symptoms.
Missouri S&T reached zero COVID-19 cases for the first time Thursday, Feb. 11. The university posts updates on reported cases Monday through Friday on its COVID-19 dashboard.
Goodman notes that these numbers reflect only cases reported to the university and reminds students, faculty and staff to report any positive COVID-19 test results to the S&T Student Health Services team by emailing COVID@mst.edu.
Since the university began tracking COVID-19 cases last fall, 557 cases have been reported; 471 of those were student cases and 86 were faculty and staff.
“Last semester, over 2,000 members of the campus community were required to quarantine or isolate due to testing positive for COVID-19 or being in close contact with someone who tested positive,” Goodman and Ashley Wann, director of the Phelps/Maries County Health Department, wrote Jan. 11 in a joint statement to students, faculty and staff.
“This semester has been successful so far because of the diligent efforts of our students, faculty and staff,” Goodman says. “I want to especially commend our students for taking responsibility for their health and the health of others during this pandemic. By and large, they’ve done the right thing, even when it wasn’t convenient, and I’m proud of them.”
Founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,600 students and part of the four-campus University of Missouri System. Located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri S&T offers 99 different degree programs in 40 areas of study, including engineering, the sciences, business and information technology, education, the humanities, and the liberal arts. Missouri S&T is known globally and is highly ranked for providing a strong return on tuition investment, exceptional career opportunities for graduates, and an emphasis on applied, hands-on learning through student design teams and cooperative education and internship opportunities. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit www.mst.edu.