While still far from business-as-usual, the University of Missouri has reportedly begun the process of resuming regular in-person operations with the soft reopening of the South End Zone facility at Memorial Stadium this week.
According to the Columbia Missourian, the athletic facility’s resumption of operations is part of a plan to “repopulate the campus,” according to university spokesperson Christian Basi.
The athletic facility was selected to reopen in part because student-athletes are still in town receiving injury treatment. Deputy athletic director of communications Nick Joos told the Missourian that people coming to the facility will be verbally screened and subject to a temperature test. Meanwhile, social distancing measures will be enforced. Joos said that two more facilities could resume operations by the end of the week, following the same safety protocols.
The Southeastern Conference has issued a league-wide suspension of athletic activities through at least May 31, but Missouri athletics is reportedly working in tandem with campus leadership to prepare to welcome student-athletes back for work outs on June 1.
Once student-athletes return to campus, those driving in from out of town will be subject to a three-day quarantine period, while those who travel via plane or from a designated “hot spot” of the coronavirus will be quarantined for a five-day period.
University employees have yet to return to campus in large numbers. The bulk of employees have been working remotely, while those on campus have mostly been in public safety, plant operations or cleaning and disinfecting public spaces.
The Missourian reports that a total of 8,754 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state as of Monday afternoon, while the county in which the university campus is located has seen 97 total cases.