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Columbia College to return to in-person learning

Columbia College announced a return to in-person classes beginning Jan. 31 in a news release. The college had previously announced that the first three weeks of the spring semester would be partially online after a surge of COVID-19 cases in Boone County.

All students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks indoors starting Jan. 29 unless they are alone in an office or dorm room. Columbia College will also be observing social distancing guidelines. These COVID-19 guidelines will be in place through Feb. 11.

According to Sam Fleury, Columbia College's senior director of strategic communications, the college has canceled or postponed all events with external groups through the end of February. The college will continue hosting student-focused events such as campus tours with the revised mitigation efforts. Athletic events will also continue but with spectator capacity limited to one-third.

David Russell, president of Columbia College, said in a news release, "This decision comes after evaluating data and receiving feedback from constituencies across the college community. We know to expect case increases, and we’re prepared to manage them through our mitigation efforts." Russell said the college is looking forward to welcoming students back to campus.

Any residential students who have not already returned to campus may do so beginning Jan. 29.

The Columbia Missourian is a community news organization managed by professional editors and staffed by Missouri School of Journalism students who do the reporting, design, copy editing, information graphics, photography and multimedia.