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CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story from the Associated Press initially reported that the professor had been fired.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — An associate professor at the University of Missouri says he was “relieved of teaching duties” after an online class exchange in which he said to a student from Wuhan, China, “Well, let me get my mask on.”

Joel Poor sent a notification to students Monday saying, “Today I was relieved of teaching duties, I apologize for any disruption this might cause you.”

But university spokesman Christian Basi said Tuesday that Poor was not fired and remains an employee.

Basi did not elaborate and would not confirm whether Poor was relieved of teaching duties.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Poor was leading an online marketing class when the exchange occurred.