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PHOTO GALLERY: Seeing an empty Columbia from a distance

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A man walks down an empty street

A man walks down an empty street Thursday in downtown Columbia.

The streets and walkways of MU, normally bustling with students, are mostly deserted nowadays. Students have begun to leave town and MU has told undergraduates still living on campus to prepare to possibly move out of their current dorms.

During the school year, areas around campus would normally be bustling -- but not this year

During the school year, areas around campus would normally be bustling but not this year. Classes are now remote, and campus will officially close Monday. Many students have already returned home or are isolating themselves due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lawn chairs and hammocks sit unused

Lawn chairs and hammocks sit unused on the balconies of off-campus student apartments Thursday in downtown Columbia.

Downtown, while busier, is home to more and more empty restaurants as they shut their doors to anything but take-out customers. The Columbia City Council declared a state of emergency for the city Monday. An order enacted on Tuesday limited the number of people at social events, restaurants and bars, among other rules and suggestions.

Row after row of empty seats are the norm in many restaurants in downtown Columbia right now

Row after row of empty seats are the norm in many downtown Columbia restaurants. People are still out running errands, but many businesses are only offering take-out options.

A fake tree stands inside the student center

An artificial tree stands Thursday inside the darkened MU Student Center. The center is closed in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as are most campus buildings.

A woman walks her dog at MU

A woman walks her dog Thursday at MU. The World Health Organization confirmed humans can not pass COVID-19 to dogs earlier this month.

A statue of Jesus stands outside Sacred Heart Catholic Church

A statue of Jesus stands Thursday outside Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Columbia. Many churches in town are switching over to streaming services to avoid large congregations of people.

A crow readies itself for flight from the steeple over Trinity Lutheran Church

A crow readies itself for flight Thursday from the steeple over Trinity Lutheran Church.

Flyers wave in the warm end-of-winter breeze for events that are now likely cancelled

Flyers at MU wave in the warm end-of-winter breeze for events that are now likely canceled.

An empty traditions plaza reflects much of the rest of campus and the surrounding area

An empty Traditions Plaza reflects much of the rest of campus and the surrounding area Thursday. Many students have left for home and MU has asked undergraduates still living on campus to make other plans.

  • I'm a photojournalism masters student at MU.

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