With schools starting back up, classes potentially may be relying more heavily on online teaching.  And in the era of COVID-19, internet can be especially crucial for distance learning. Loyd Rice, manager of fiber services at Semo Electric Cooperative, sees expanding local broadband access as a mission. In this episode of Going Public, Rice talks about plans and progress on expanding broadband. He talks about what expanding broadband has looked like with the added needs of the pandemic, and the support received from the governor. 

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services


In early August, the Associated Press reported that COVID-19 had resulted in the deaths of 502 people living in nursing home facilities. 

KRCU’s Clayton Hester speaks to Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services about what this level of deaths means for the state, what can be done about it, and what’s been done.

Later in the interview, Dr. Williams speaks about student safety as colleges head into a new semester.


Scientists need a lot of safety equipment to study the coronavirus in a research lab: biohazard suits, respirators, custom airflow systems.

Not every lab meets the safety standards to work with potentially lethal viruses — and getting certified can take years.

“There isn't really enough capacity for the current demand to work with SARS-CoV-2, so it’s created a bottleneck,” said Sean Whelan, a microbiology professor and virologist at Washington University.

Clayton Hester / KRCU

Governor Mike Parson was on the campus of Southeast Missouri State on Friday, speaking to university officials about the beginning of the school year. Parson said the focus of their talk was the importance of testing and contact tracing.

He said in their meeting, he felt reassured seeing that the university faculty and staff are very serious about safety.

After the meeting, Parson said he was hopeful that in a month or so rapid testing would be available. 

A group of teachers and community members rallied Saturday at Mill Creek Park, advocating for Missouri to implement a statewide school reopening plan based on a decline in coronavirus cases.

They waved signs that read “Ms. Frizzle would be so disappointed,” “Science not politics,” and “Online until decline.”