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Missouri S&T Requires Daily Temperature Checks During Fall Semester

Photo taken 06-26-2020
Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio
The Student Health Complex at Missouri S&T, where students will call if they have a temperature before coming to campus.

ROLLA — As part of its efforts to reopen campus and slow the spread of the coronavirus, Missouri University of Science and Technology is expecting students, faculty and staff to take their temperature every morning before coming to campus this fall. 

Colleges and universities across the country are struggling to find ways to both resume in-person classes and protect the campus community’s health.

Officials at Missouri S&T are calling the daily temperature checks a reasonable and important safety step.

“If you have a fever, do not come to campus. For the students, contact the health care services, and employees should contact their supervisors and health care provider,” said S&T Chancellor Mo Dehghani during a recent virtual town hall meeting.

Dehghani said there are certain supplies that college students have to bring with them when they return to campus. A thermometer and face coverings are now on that list.

“We come to campus with our other tools, academic or otherwise. We come to campus with our toothbrushes, we come to campus with our computers,” Dehghani said. “This is no different.”

Missouri S&T will provide touchless thermometers in dorms and Greek housing for students to use. 

Dehghani did not provide specifics on how the rules will be enforced other than saying that violators will not be tolerated. 

All four of the University of Missouri campuses are asking students, faculty, staff and visitors to wear face coverings, with slight variations in the wording of the policy. Campuses in St. Louis and Kansas City are also considering daily health monitoring efforts.

“The protocols will include expectations for face coverings and daily health monitoring as well as numerous other information to help guide safe student behavior,” said University of Missouri St. Louis Chief of Staff Bob Samples. “We will also detail campus efforts to effect social distancing in classrooms/public spaces that will apply to students, employees and visitors.”

Samples said the details of UMSL’s plans will be available this week.

In Kansas City, officials are advising that everyone on campus should wear a face covering but are not using language requiring it. Similar wording is being used for temperature checks.

“We also are asking those who come to campus to take their temperature in advance and stay home if their temperature is 100.4 or higher, and to check in with their medical provider or our student wellness staff if they have a fever or other COVID-like symptoms,” said UMKC spokesperson Stacy Downs.

On the Columbia campus, spokesperson Christian Basi said students “should be prepared to wear face coverings in certain areas of campus.”

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Jonathan Ahl is the Newscast Editor and Rolla correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.