MSSU’s plan for spring break amid COVID-19

JOPLIN, Mo. –Spring break is normally a time where students have a week to unwind from the pressure of academics.

For college students, it means going home, or on trips, but as the pandemic lingers, doing so could potentially trigger a rise in COVID-19 cases.

According to Hayley Ward, a member of Missouri Southern State University COVID-19 taskforce, that’s what happened at Missouri Southern State University last fall.

“When it came to fall break, we didn’t have a quarantine afterward, and we saw that there was an increase in cases. What we did for our Thanksgiving break is we actually took the last two weeks of our classes, so finals as well, and made them online,” she said. 

Ward said there is concern that the campus could see this again 

“There are definitely concerns, and that is something we’ve talked about on the COVID task force.”

The university doesn’t know if they will have students quarantine upon their return to campus yet, but place an emphasis on using their CampusClear app.

“CampusClear is an app that our health center uses with I.T to track if there’s anything wrong when you should go to the health center,” Ward explained.

Due to the virus, senior pre-med student Cade Winfrey plans to stay on campus and will use the break to take care of personal business and get ahead in his academics. 

“This year I knew spring break would look a little different, so what I did is I planned all my appointments, like medical and dental.”

He said although there is a concern for a spike in cases, the break is important for student’s mental health.

“The best option is to give students this break because we figure at this point the most detrimental thing is like to endanger a student’s mental health,” he said.

The university hopes that anyone planning to travel for the break practices habits like mask-wearing and social distancing.

Missouri Southern State University’s spring break will be from March 22nd-March 26th.