Governor Mike Parson speaks with SEMO University officials before school starts

Governor Mike Parson speaks with SEMO University officials before school starts

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri State University students are coming back to campus starting next week. On Friday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson stopped to speak with school leaders about their reopening plan.

“I wanted to make sure from the role as governor what I can do to support them as the school year starts and what are the things that they maybe still in need of and their concerns of as we move forward,” said Parson.

He said one of the main things the university should focus on is contact tracing.

“I don’t know if you necessarily have to wait on the state or local health departments. They have a lot on their plate to do, but I think the universities would be well assisted if they could take care of contact tracing as much as they could in house,” he said.

Southeast Missouri State President Dr. Carlos Vargas said they are already working on that.

“We are in the process of setting up a contact tracing initiative so that we can trace who they’re talking to and all that,” he said.

Parson also notes the importance of having a plan if someone test positive.

“Also preparing for, if there is a hot spot, if there is a breakout in there. What are they going to do when that happens? In reality it very will could be and we just need to be prepared for that,” he said.

Vargas said there are many different scenarios to go along with that, so they have put in place a flow chart.

“We do have a very comprehensive set of plans considering the various scenarios for the students when they come back and if they test positive,” he said.

He said the one of the most important things is getting students to do their part too.

“We need to make sure that the students help us actually maintain this as a healthy environment and that’s what we are trying to do,” he said.

Students moving into the dorms will start arriving on August 15.

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