COVID-19 Increases Cause Mask Mandate Extension

Written by Matthew Goldsmith, News Editor

  While some area universities have lifted their campus-wide mask mandates, the University of Central Missouri’s face coverings requirement stays intact.

  UCM announced that the mask mandate would be extended on Nov. 29. Events and activities at the UCM Multipurpose Building are no longer included in the requirement, although face coverings are still strongly recommended. The university said they will provide an update no later than Dec. 15.

  As of Dec. 3, UCM has 13 active student cases and two active faculty/staff cases. At the time of the most recent mandate extension on Oct. 29, there were 24 student cases and two faculty/staff cases.

  There are area universities that don’t have a campus-wide mask mandate that have higher case numbers than UCM.

  For example, Northwest Missouri State University, one of the most comparable Missouri universities to UCM by student population, has 18 student cases and 10 employee cases as of Nov. 30. Northwest doesn’t have a campus-wide mask mandate for vaccinated individuals.

  Sophomore public relations major Dylin Cline said he knows people who go to and work at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and said he thinks it is harder to control COVID-19 at a place the size of Mizzou than at UCM. Cline said he is happy with the way UCM is handling COVID-19.

  “I definitely think, as far as administration-wise and campus-wide, we’re heading in the right direction,” Cline said.

  Senior cybersecurity major Nick Aragon said he has a lot of friends at the University of Kansas and thinks that UCM students are having a less restricted experience than students at KU due to its size. As someone who has been at UCM both before and during COVID-19, Aragon said he thinks UCM is starting to look more like it did before COVID-19.

  “I’d say this year has been a change for the better for COVID because people are allowed to do more, but they are still mandated on masks and such,” Aragon said.