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University of Missouri disciplines 20 for pandemic violations

The University of Missouri has disciplined an additional 20 current or former students with suspensions, probation or other sanctions for what it called “egregious violations” of policies meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

All of the violations were for hosting gatherings of more than 20 people in violation of the Boone County public health order, the university said Friday in a news release.

Five students were suspended for the rest of the academic year, 14 were placed on probation for two consecutive semesters and given additional sanctions, and one former student will not be able to enroll until the violations are addressed.

The school earlier this month expelled or suspended five students for violations of safety policies amid coronavirus pandemic.

University officials cited a significant drop in active cases since Sept. 5. The active caseload among students has dropped by 86% since then, to 95 active cases as of Friday.

Bill Stackman, vice chancellor for Student Affairs said the university is “extremely pleased” that the vast majority of students are complying with the policies and regulations related to COVID-19 safety.

“Our Office of Student Accountability and Support has been working diligently, continuing to hold students accountable as we work to prevent the spread of the disease,” he said. “The discipline announced today is for egregious violations of our rules related to the safety of our campus.”

About 540 disciplinary cases have been referred to the Office of Student Accountability and Support.

The state health department on Saturday reported 1,716 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 69 additional deaths from the disease caused by the coronavirus, a spike in deaths that officials attributed to a delay in reporting death certificate data. All told, the state has reported 122,014 confirmed cases and 2,063 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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