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State prepares for in-person classroom instruction for fall semester

STARKVILLE — Mississippi State University President Mark E. Keenum said the university is fully committed to welcoming students back to campus this fall.

In a release from the university, Keenum said plans to resume in-person classroom and laboratory instruction for the fall semester are “on schedule and taking solid form” as the university continues development of specific new operating guidelines.

Keenum announced the university has organized a COVID-19 task force that is focused on “fostering a safe environment for the return of MSU students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus within the confines of official federal and state government guidance and that of the leadership of recognized public health agencies.”

The task force has been asked to produce guidelines to assist Mississippi State across all campuses in transitioning back to more traditional campus activities. These will include:

• Revising the academic calendar to minimize disruption.

• Focusing on spread reduction techniques including social and physical distancing, increased cleaning and disinfectant protocols across facilities, and the availability and use of face coverings.

• Re-populating MSU through a robust screening strategy bolstered by testing where needed and contact tracing. Containment and isolation procedures if positive COVID-19 cases become present on campus.

• Exploring the appropriate mixture of hybrid, online, and face-to-face instruction, classroom and other facilities usage, and innovative class scheduling.

• Considering innovative and alternative best practices in campus life, business functions, athletics, Extension and other public outreach, and campus life.