UMKC is back in-person with masks

UMKC requires everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. (Instagram)

Thomas White

UMKC facilities, classrooms and common places are open again for full capacity in-person sessions. Buildings and programs have also resumed normal hours and operation. 

UMKC fully opened on Aug. 23, the first time since March 2020. The 18-month stretch equates to nearly half of a college career. 

“Everyone will probably feel like a freshman on campus,” senior accounting major Galen McDaniel said. “I might need a map.”

UMKC had planned to be near complete normalcy this fall, but the rise of the Delta variant in Missouri has brought back indoor mask requirements for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. Unvaccinated students must wear a mask at all times on campus. 

“As our campus remains safe, we are excited to prepare for a return to in-person learning and activities,” UMKC Provost Jenny Lundgren said in May. “No matter what the fall brings, we will ensure that we are ready to give our students a unique and rewarding experience.”

UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said that university leadership will continue to be in contact with experts and health officials and will follow their guidance. The mask requirement is in effect until Sept. 15, when the policy will be reviewed. 

“By working together in a spirit of cooperation, mutual respect and regard for our fellow members of the UMKC community, we can persevere through this ongoing challenge,” Agrawal said in a campus-wide email.  

Despite the reinstatement of a mask mandate, an air of cautious optimism surrounds many students looking forward to in-person classes. 

“I’m ready to get back to the UMKC campus atmosphere,” McDaniel said. “In-person classes have always been my preference.” 

UMKC is also not requiring a COVID vaccine for students but asked that students and employees upload their vaccination status to a university database starting Aug. 2. Vaccinated individuals registered to the database will not have to quarantine if exposed to a COVID-infected person. 

UMKC and public health officials strongly encourage vaccines. The university also offers free vaccinations through Truman Medical Centers/University Health. Those who would like a COVID-19 vaccination can register online here or call (816) 404-2273 and press option one. 

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