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COVID-19 Update: Preparations for the Fall Semester (7-30-20)

In our efforts to continue to keep you informed about the impact of COVID-19 on the University of Central Missouri campus in Warrensburg and in Lee’s Summit, we are updating information that was previously shared on July 15 about preparations for the fall 2020 semester and beyond. As we get ready for the first day of classes on Aug. 17, we are taking steps to promote a safe campus while remaining steadfast in our commitment to provide an educational environment where students can experience learning to a greater degree. While we still plan to offer in-person classes, we recognize there will be a number of changes from a typical academic year, but we appreciate the cooperation and understanding of all campus members as we work together to persevere through the challenges the pandemic poses. Updates can also be found at Please check below for information related to:

Academic Modifications

The University of Central Missouri continues to maintain its effort to provide for a safe and healthy campus for students, employees and visitors alike. UCM is committed to providing our students with the best possible experience while also safeguarding their well-being against the backdrop of the global pandemic. Therefore, classes will be modified for the 2020 academic year, and details of these modifications will vary by course.

Students will be contacted directly by their instructors if any of their courses are modified. All students should check their university email regularly for updates from their faculty for details regarding class modifications.


Classroom Setup and Scheduling Modifications

Since the size of some classrooms allow for each student to have a six-foot radius of space around them, per CDC guidelines, some classes will meet as usual. In other cases, course delivery will be modified to meet those guidelines while still providing an engaging educational experience. These modifications could include conversion to a partial or full online format, or changing the course attendance according to a flipped classroom or rotational attendance format.
In a flipped classroom, students do not meet face to face for every class period as indicated on the schedule. Instead, the course syllabus will include a schedule of when the class will meet face to face and when the instructor will make course material available online/remotely.

In a rotating attendance format, students will not attend their course in the classroom every single day in order to allow all students to maintain proper social distancing. For example, if a class is scheduled to meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, half of the students could attend on Monday and the other half on Friday, with everyone meeting virtually on Wednesday. Since the amount of face-to-face time is greatly reduced, the content not covered at the face-to-face meetings could be offered electronically through Blackboard, Google Classroom or other means.

Alternately, some students could choose to attend class in person while others could choose to attend via video conferencing (e.g., Zoom, WebEx, Google Meet) from home or elsewhere.


Laboratory Classes

Laboratory classes will be handled like lectures, with students split into smaller groups and flipped classrooms. Many laboratory courses will have pre-produced lectures for students to watch ahead of the lab, and the classroom time will be used for labs.

In addition to the usual protective equipment required for students like goggles, safety glasses and gloves, face masks will be required in all laboratories. Laboratory courses have been reconfigured so that there are about half of the students present at any one time. This reduces or eliminates the need to share equipment and instruments among students during each class.

Equipment and instruments will be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each class to be ready for the next group of students. Other highly-touched surfaces like keyboards will also be cleaned and sanitized at the end of each class.


Practicums, Internships and Clinicals

For practicums, internships and clinicals, students will adhere to the requirements of that organization, which may be more stringent than UCM’s requirements.

Special arrangements might be required for students and faculty engaged in clinical programs. Those arrangements will be guided by the program’s accreditations and/or public health guidance. Other activities such as flight instruction or experiential learning will occur where possible, and students will be required to observe CDC guidelines.


Field Experience Courses for Education Students

Just as we have made adjustments to our courses and procedures to promote student safety in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school districts we partner with for field experiences are also making adjustments for the safety of their students and faculty. The need to prioritize safety has led us to make some changes in our field experiences courses.

For education students, sophomore and junior level courses or practicum that include a field experience placement in a PK-12 classroom, we will not be placing students in schools during the Fall 2020 semester. Faculty are currently working on alternative experiences that may include virtual observation, virtual teaching, or viewing videos of PK-12 classrooms. Alternative activities will still provide students with knowledge of the teaching and learning that occurs in our schools.

These modifications will not impact students’ path to teaching certification. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is allowing teacher preparation programs to create alternative field experiences. The College of Education faculty here at UCM are former classroom teachers, using their expertise to design innovative and creative alternatives that are meaningful and relevant.

Students will still be enrolled in field experiences courses, and those courses will appear on student transcripts.

Students with any questions or concerns about their fall 2020 courses are encouraged to reach out to their professors directly, or contact our Office of Student Services.

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Face Masks/Coverings

  • Wearing face coverings, consistent with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, is required in classrooms; inside buildings open to the public and in common areas of all buildings on campus; at group events, gatherings and meetings; and in all areas of campus, including outdoors, where physical distancing is not possible. This applies to both the Warrensburg and Lee’s Summit campuses. This face covering requirement is in effect regardless of when or if Jackson County and/or Johnson County face covering requirements are lifted, and will remain in effect until further notice is given by the university president.
  • When properly worn, face coverings should completely cover the mouth and nose.
  • The required use of face coverings applies to students, faculty, staff, vendors and visitors. Face coverings are not required in enclosed and isolated areas assigned to an individual such as individual office spaces and single occupancy residence hall rooms, for individuals five years of age or younger, or when an individual is eating or drinking.
  • Face coverings should be worn when accessing dining areas for food and drink. Individuals are not required to wear a face cover while actively eating or drinking. When two or more people are in a room designed for individual occupancy, or are seated closer than six feet apart, face coverings should be worn by all present.
  • Individuals are required to bring their own face coverings, although there may be situations where an office can provide one, if available.
  • Individuals who have certain health issues may be exempt from the face mask/covering requirement. Faculty and staff who seek an exemption should contact Human Resources. Students requesting an exemption should contact the Office of Accessibility Services.
  • The Office of the Provost and the respective college’s Office of the Dean will work with academic programs to coordinate training for faculty regarding this requirement and classroom procedures.

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General Steps and Expectations

  • Students, faculty, staff and visitors should engage in acceptable social distancing practices as recommended by the CDC. You can learn more by clicking on the following link: It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our own health and well-being, including being mindful of the health and well-being of others.
  • Special attention has been paid to arranging classrooms and areas throughout campus to facilitate social and physical distancing.
  • Events will be capacity controlled to allow for social distancing and will utilize invitation and reservation systems where appropriate.
  • We continue to use enhanced cleaning across campus and with special cleaning protocols in high-use locations and deep cleaning protocols when the university is made aware of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Students, faculty and staff should regularly self-monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and follow CDC guidance on self-isolation and testing if symptomatic. (See for more information from the CDC.)
  • Students should contact the University Health Center at 660-543-4770 or if they believe they are symptomatic, have been notified of exposure through contact tracing, or otherwise have reason to believe they may be infected.
  • Students and employees should stay home if they are sick; students will not be penalized for missing class due to illness. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources at 660-543-4255 or at if they believe they are symptomatic or have been notified of a positive result so that the university may initiate proper and timely response protocols.
  • Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check their UCM email for important updates related to COVID-19. You can also learn more by checking out UCM’s coronavirus website
  • Please follow all signs on campus that provide important safety guidance and reminders. These include signs related to pedestrian traffic flow, good health practice in elevators, wearing face coverings and more.
  • Contingency plans have been developed and continue to be evaluated for any additional modification which may need to be made to current modes of classroom instruction.

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Classroom Safety

  • Courses and course schedules continue to be re-designed to account for CDC guidelines and generally accepted best practices. Students are encouraged to work within the attendance and seating guidelines set forth by their instructor. Check your email regularly for communication regarding your fall schedule.
  • Where appropriate, in-person class offerings will be supplemented with use of technology and employ hybrid delivery models to reduce classroom-specific density. Check your email regularly for communication regarding your professor's expectations for your courses.
  • Classroom capacity continues to be evaluated, with seating and tables arranged for social distancing.
  • In laboratory classes, rotation schedules between classroom and laboratory times will be employed to allow for fewer students in the classroom at a time.
  • Course offerings are being spread throughout the day to reduce density. We are placing as many previously designated in-person classes as possible in larger capacity classrooms and/or limiting class enrollment capacity to facilitate social distancing.
  • If your health permits, refrain from eating and drinking in class.
  • If arriving early for class, and when departing, avoid gathering in hallways. Instead, wait outside of buildings or in areas where social distancing is practicable..

Students also are advised to practice handwashing between classes, and remember to clean and store their cell phones when not in use.

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Hand Sanitizing Stations

New this fall, wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed at main entrances of campus academic buildings, and will be installed at the main entrances of the residence halls. A limited quantity of dispensers can be ordered by individual departments through the Procurement Warehouse.

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Counseling Center Support

The Counseling Center is providing virtual services primarily by Telemental Health (TMH). Individuals can access services by calling 660-543-4060 to participate in a brief screening for TMH and to schedule appointments. Mental Fitness workshops are offered online, on-demand, via Blackboard. Please see the Counseling Center’s website ( for more information about services and for additional resources, or call 660-543-4060 with any questions.


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On-campus Residence Hall Changes

  • University Housing is continuing to work on room assignments for fall 2020. Although students have been notified by email that all rooms are now single occupancy, in some cases it is not yet possible to make immediate room assignments. Housing and university administrators are working to secure an off-campus housing partner adjacent to the university to provide short-term housing until such a time that students in off-campus units can relocate back to on-campus housing. Billing for these spaces will continue to be handled by the housing office. Additionally, when residence hall students cancel their on-campus room assignments, those spaces are being immediately reassigned to other students.
  • Freshmen and sophomores who live within 65 miles of campus (previously 50 miles) can apply for an exemption from living in campus residence halls providing they will live with a parent, grandparent or legal guardian. Any student who believes they may be eligible for an exemption and wishes to obtain one can contact University Housing at 660-543-4515, or

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Move-in Process

In an effort to limit crowds and allow for physical distancing, the move-in process for this year has been modified. First-year students who sign up for the UCM Kickoff will be required to sign up for a move-in time, and will move in between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13. All other first-year students and upper class students will move into residence halls from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug.16, and will receive a direct communication about move in. Those living in apartments will receive a direct communication regarding move-in, which begins Friday, Aug. 14.

Please view all guidelines and processes for move in 2020:

  • Masks/face coverings are mandated and are to be worn by students, staff, and visitors per UCM policy.
  • ONLY the student may enter at first to obtain key(s). Family/guests must stay outside until the student has obtained their key. Then they may assist in moving in.
  • To reduce density and provide for physical distancing, students are limited to having two additional guests with them to move in.
  • Students should plan to complete the move-in process within two hours.
  • Once all possessions have been moved inside the room, guests and students should remain inside the room with the door closed until ready to depart.
  • Elevator usage will be limited to one family at a time during move in. We ask that everyone be mindful of others including those with possible mobility concerns.
  • Check-in locations will be communicated to students moving in via email. There will also be signage indicating check-in locations on residence hall exterior doors.
  • Volunteers are not available to unload items, but will be stationed at doors to help direct you.
  • Please be mindful and practice social distancing out of respect for fellow students and families.
  • Trash must be taken to exterior dumpsters (as well as throughout the academic year).
  • Additional information about housing is at

If you have specific questions regarding moving in, please contact University Housing at 660-543-4515 or at

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Items to Bring from Home

When returning to campus or moving in for the first time, please be sure to bring items that can help support a healthy lifestyle while the national pandemic continues.

  • Face covering/mask
  • Thermometer
  • Tylenol
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cleaning supplies

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Campus Dining Updates

The following are some of the steps the university and Sodexo, UCM’s food services provider, are taking to support a safe dining experience.

  • Sodexo has company-wide protocols for food preparation and service which are being employed at UCM.
  • All dining employees will wear masks.
  • There will be adjustments in seating availability, due to local government regulations, and set capacity of the space.
  • Dining areas will be set up to provide for social distancing.
  • Carry-out service will be available. Students may opt for carry-out meals at any point during the meal time. However, a 30-minute window for carry-out only meals will be provided at the beginning of meal times for those who want to get their take-out meal before sit-down dining is available, which may enhance social distancing.
  • Traffic patterns will be implemented that allow diners to efficiently move from the cashier stand to their selected stations. Floor decals and consistent signage will reinforce traffic patterns and social distancing.
  • Traffic patterns will also lead from the seating area to the exit with designated instructions along the way for returning dishes or disposing of packaging or waste into marked receptacles.
  • Efficient station designs for each meal period will ensure quality selection and service and optimal sanitation standards.
  • All stations will be attended by uniformed staff.
  • Staff will frequently sanitize serving stations to ensure safety.
  • No personal refillable containers will be utilized in the dining room, to ensure safety for our staff and guests.
  • Menu toppings and condiments will be portioned by attendants.
  • Enhanced cleaning in dining facilities will be performed in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Constant sanitation and cleaning will be performed by uniformed staff.
  • Tables will be cleaned and disinfected after each use and free of any items, such as salt/pepper shakers or napkin dispensers.

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International Students

In accordance with federal requirements, all international students will be required to quarantine for 14 days if they are coming from a location outside the United States. Any international students who have been in the United States for more than 14 days will not be required to quarantine. International students will receive direct communication about this process.

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Domestic Students Return from Travel Abroad

Per federal requirements, all students who have traveled internationally prior to the start of the academic year will be required to quarantine for 14 days before returning to fall classes on campus. Students who have been in the United States for more than 14 days prior to the start of classes will not be required to quarantine.

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Faculty and Staff Travel

All travel should be considered carefully. While travel may be limited due to funding, there is no ban on domestic travel as it may be essential in some positions to conduct university business. International travel is suspended for the fall semester. Under current guidance, anyone who engages in international travel, regardless of purpose, will be required to quarantine for 14 days after their arrival in the U.S. You should confer with the foreign officials for the country you are traveling to determine travel restrictions for that nation.

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Testing and Contact Tracing

  • Testing for students is available at the University Health Center. Most insurance companies will pay for testing if the patient has COVID-19 symptoms. If you do not have health insurance and want to learn more about UCM's student health insurance plan, information is available through MyCentral on the Student page under Health Services.
  • Johnson County Community Health Services will facilitate initial contact tracing for individuals who test positive. The University will assist as appropriate and consistent with applicable laws and available resources.
  • In partnership with health care providers and the University Health Center, we are increasing our ability for testing and contact tracing for students.
  • Contact your health care provider to determine whether you need to be tested for COVID-19, or students may use this screening form on the University Health Center website.
  • The University Health Center does not see nor can it provide guidance to employees. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources with any questions regarding contact tracing and COVID-19 testing.
  • Specific questions regarding testing and contact tracing may also be directed to Johnson County Community Health Services. Students who have questions about testing may contact the University Health Center at 660-543-4770 or
  • Faculty and staff who have questions about testing may contact the Office of Human Resources at 660-543-4255 or


Image of the front of the health center

The University Health Center is the first stop for students who are sick or injured, need well woman care, or need clinical prevention services such as immunizations or medications. It's staffed by physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacy and lab technicians, and friendly office personnel.

Interior of the health center

Wellness Support and Community Engagement is also housed in the University Health Center. Through a wide variety of support programs and services focused on education, engagement, and prevention, staff help students stay safe, healthy, and connected to community resources.

map of the location of the health center

The University Health Center is located near the student union at, 108 East Clark Street, Warrensburg, MO 64093

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Additional Accommodations

Students who need accommodations due to disability or mental or physical health should contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 660-543-4421 or Students who have concerns about their current schedule should contact the Success Advising Center to discuss their options at 660-543-4721 or

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Campus Cupboard

Located on the lower level of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Campus Cupboard is a volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to alleviating hunger and financial burdens in the UCM community. Food and personal care items are provided to students and UCM employees in need. It will resume regular service on Wednesday, Aug. 19. For more information about Campus Cupboard visit

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Student Recreation and Wellness Center

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center is taking many steps to provide an environment that encourages social distancing and follows safety guidelines prescribed by the CDC and local health officials.

Among those efforts, in the atrium area, which is considered a public space, cloth coverings have been removed from furniture, and the remaining furniture has a leather and hospital grade fabric to encourage social distancing. A spray mister for surface cleaning that uses oxygenated water has been purchased for use in this area mid-day and again at closing time.

Here is a list of several changes/updates in which SRWC patrons will want to be aware (Please note, this list is not comprehensive):

  • The rock climbing wall will remain closed during the fall 2020 semester.
  • Fitness classes will be limited to 10-12 individuals, but there will be YouTube classes available for individuals’ convenience.
  • The indoor walking track will not be open for running activities, but will be available for walking.
  • Basketball will not be offered as an intramural sport.
  • Personal training will still be available. Clients may request virtual sessions if they prefer.
  • In the fitness areas, attendants will be stationed throughout to regularly clean machines during hours of operation; however, patrons are encouraged to follow the rule: “You Touch It, You Clean It Before and After.”
  • Fitness machines have been separated to provide a 10-foot distance between them.
  • The free weight room will be limited to 10 people.
  • Cardio Deck machines have been moved to allow the circuitry machines to be utilized for optimal social distancing.
  • In the mezzanine area, boxing gloves and ropes are no longer being checked out, but individuals can use punching bags if they bring their own gloves.

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Campus Event Guidelines

We have reconfigured, re-imagined, and realigned events to help ensure we are following CDC guidelines. We will utilize social distancing measures where feasible, and implement ticketing to help promote social distancing at large gatherings. Here are a few items worth noting regarding events as we begin the fall 2020 semester:

  • Requests for event space will be made through the 25Live online system. If you do not have access please complete the online training and take the quiz. conference-services/schedule-an-event/
  • All room capacities have been updated in 25Live to account for social distancing.
  • Please select a room that is appropriate for the number of attendees you plan to have at your event.
  • Please do not move the tables and chairs, as they will be set to allow for social distancing. No tables and chairs can be added to academic classrooms and auditoriums.
  • If a room in the Union is set to the new capacity, no additional tables or chairs can be added.
  • Event sponsors must supply hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes for their events, especially if items will be shared by participants.
  • If participants want to sit closer than six feet apart, the event must be ticketed.

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Athletics Schedules Changing

UCM’s Athletics Conference, The MIAA, has announced all fall sport competitions will be suspended until January 1, 2021. Learn more..

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UCM Kick-off

UCM Kick-off is still scheduled for Thursday, August 13. For more information, please visit

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Week of Welcome

The Office of Student Activities is hosting an exciting Week of Welcome with many fun events planned for Aug. 14-21. Activities planned during the week are listed below. All of these activities have been configured with strong consideration for social distancing and other applicable CDC guidelines.


Friday, Aug. 14

8 -11 p.m. Game Night at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC): This event will feature Hillbilly Golf, Corn Hole Toss, washers, volleyball, basketball, ping pong, and a Top Shot Competition with activities that include archery, darts, rubber band gun and ax throwing.


Saturday, Aug. 15

10 a.m.-12 p.m. First-Year Service Projects: Students will be assigned projects across the UCM campus. They also will create hygiene kits for individuals for use by the American Red Cross, make bookmarks for the public library, door decks for local residential care units, and table decorations for the Warrensburg veterans home.

3-5 p.m. UCM Waterpark at East Field: This event featuring water balloons, dunk tank, slip and slide, blow-up slide, and balloon launchers.

8-11 p.m. Choose your own Mo-venture! This includes a free outdoor movie tentatively at the James C. Kirkpatrick (JCKL) lawn with the lower level of the SWRC as a rain location; Silent Disco at East Field with the SRWC Garrison Courts as rain location, and online Bingo.


Sunday, Aug. 16

8-11 p.m. The Student Activities Showcase: This event features bowling at the Union Bowling Center; Bingo, Union Ballroom; Glow Mini Golf, outside and near the SRWC; Karaoke at the Union Atrium; and Novelties, Union/Union Mall.


Wednesday, Aug. 19

3-5 p.m. Student Involvement Fair: The fair is an opportunity to find out how you can get involved and will take place at various locations.

8 p.m. Electric violinist Alex Ahn: This event is sure to please and is planned at Hendricks Hall.


Thursday, Aug. 20

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Welcome Back Blood Drive: Located in Union 238-240, this event provides students an opportunity to donate blood to save lives.
8 p.m. UCM Bingo: Join us for a great time at SRWC Garrison Courts


Friday, Aug. 21

8 p.m. A free outdoor movie will be shown tentatively at the JCKL lawn with the SRWC lower level as a rain location.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is an evolving situation that is continually being monitored by the university. As the safety and well-being of all UCM members and campus visitors is a priority, UCM leadership will make any adjustments that it believes are necessary to meet this goal and to comply with any local, state or federal requirements. We will continue to keep you informed of any new developments. If you have questions about coronavirus, or are interested in seeing recent campus updates related to the virus, please visit

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