Coronavirus Updates

Statement from the President

There are no known cases of Coronavirus on the CMU campus. The safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff is, and will remain, our top priority. With our investment in Digital U, we are better prepared than most institutions of higher education as we move to online classes after Spring Break.

Roger D. Drake
Central Methodist University

President's message to students concerning graduation / commencement

Future Graduates:

With great sadness, I must inform you that your commencement ceremony is postponed. Among all the sacrifices made during this international crisis, the postponement of your graduation is the most difficult for me to accept. You have worked extremely hard and deserve this moment of celebration. It pains me to defer it to a later date; however, it must be done in the interest of health and safety.

In consultation with your faculty, SGA, and other student organizations, a new date will be set when it becomes safe to do so. I hope that when the new date is determined, you will return to campus and let us show you our appreciation for your academic achievement.

Roger D. Drake
Central Methodist University

What is Central doing in response to COVID-19?

As communities across the nation deal with the challenges posed by the new coronavirus (COVID-19), the primary concern at Central Methodist University remains the safety and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. There are NO known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at CMU.

However, as the challenges multiply, senior leadership at CMU has taken the step to utilize the full potential of Central’s Digital U technology and transition entirely to online coursework for all locations beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 4 p.m. (updated March 17 to reflect new federal guidelines) . This allows students the chance to finish spring break and their semester in the safety of their own homes.

Campus officials made the choice to reduce the likelihood of spreading the virus as students returned to Fayette from spring break. Many large campus events and events deemed non-essential are being cancelled as well, to reduce risk.

“Central is well-positioned to transition to virtual delivery of coursework with our Digital U platform,” said President Roger Drake. “In many cases, students are already engaging with their faculty online.

“I’m confident we will continue to provide the high-quality, caring, and individualized instruction our students expect and deserve,” Drake added.

Central Methodist offices will remain open during the spring with no interruption to services.

Updates by day:

  • April 5
    • • Central Methodist University employees will continue working remotely through April 24 in light of Governor Parson's stay-at-home order.
  • April 3 update
    • • The Central Methodist University Commencement ceremony in May has been postponed. Read more.
  • March 23 update
    • • Effective Monday, March 23, 2020: CMU employees will work remotely. Tuesday, March 24 through Friday March 27 will continue as the spring break holiday. We anticipate working remotely until April 5, 2020.
  • March 20 update
    • • As of 10:50 a.m., there are no known cases of coronavirus on the campus or in Howard County.  
  • March 19 update
    • • An employee of Central Methodist University who had been exposed to COVID-19 has tested negative. That employee had been exposed to an out-of-state relative who had tested positive.
  • March 17 update
    • • The university is moving up its decision to switch to online coursework for students in seated classes. The move becomes effective at 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 17. 
  • March 13 update
    • • CMU will transition entirely to online coursework for all locations beginning Monday, March 30. More information here.
    • • A total of two cases have been confirmed in Missouri, per Governor Parsons' statement made during the evening of March 12.
  • March 11 update
    • • Leaders at CMU are actively monitoring the international concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19). To date, there have been no confirmed cases at CMU. Updates will be shared with the campus community as warranted.
    • • We are preparing to use our Digital University online learning platform if the need arises.
    • • On March 7, 2020, Missouri officials announced the first case to test presumptive positive for COVID-19 in Missouri. The test result must be confirmed by the US CDC. Officials report the individual recently traveled to Italy and is at home in St. Louis County.
    • • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the coronavirus, or COVID-19. The hotline opened March 11th and can be reached at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How you can help:

  • • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • • Stay home when you are sick.
  • • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on an assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available here. Knowing that many of you may have travel plans, particularly as spring break draws near, we urge you to check the CDC guidelines for the latest developments.

If you develop symptoms associated with the COVID-19 (fever, cough and other respiratory illness) you should be evaluated by the campus nurse or local health resources.

We will continue to update our community as needed.