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Missouri State took over the Q Hotel & Suites on St. Louis Street, near Hammons Field, in late August.

That lease expires mid-October.

MSU President Clif Smart announced Friday that the university will not renew the lease, citing a drop in COVID-19 cases on campus. The initial 45-day lease was slightly under $500,000.

“We are down in cases six weeks in a row,” he said.

The university’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 24 cases in the past seven days.

More: MSU surpasses 1,000 cases of COVID-19 despite ‘steady decline’ for four weeks

As of Friday, only eight MSU students were in quarantine or isolation and all are housed at Kentwood Hall.

“We determined not to renew the lease on the Q Hotel as not required,” he said.

In an update to the MSU Board of Governors, Smart said following a spike in the second week, the number of positive COVID-19 cases dropped each week for six weeks.

“Given these numbers, we proposed to continue the fall semester, as is, without any changes,” he said. “We would anticipate students coming back after Thanksgiving break for one more week of classes and then final exams followed by graduation.”

More: MSU: 80 percent of students who test positive for COVID-19 live off campus

He said MSU continues to administer 450 to 500 COVID-19 tests for athletes; students and employees who show symptoms; and asymptomatic testing.

“We expect rapid testing to become available this semester,” he said. The details about that are still being worked out.

The university’s plan to reopen campus for the 2020-21 year called for using Kentwood, which will continue.

Early on, MSU worked with apartment complexes and two other local hotels to secure additional space, if needed, for quarantine or isolate. However, the biggest lease was for the Q Hotel & Suites.

Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to criley@news-leader.com.

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