FAQs for Faculty and Staff

The following questions are frequently asked by faculty, staff and supervisors.

Send additional questions to COVID19@MissouriState.edu.

Faculty, staff and supervisor FAQs

Faculty FAQs Staff FAQs Supervisor FAQs

Faculty FAQs

How will faculty learn that a student in their class has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

Similar to other situations where a student is sick, you will typically be notified by the student. Once the university learns of a COVID-19 positive or quarantining student (typically through Magers Health and Wellness Center or through the COVID-19 Response Team), a COVID-19 Response Team member will communicate with the student and encourage them to talk to their instructors so academic arrangements can be made.

What should faculty do if they learn that a student in their class has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • You should make arrangements with the student to enable them to continue their progress in the class remotely for the duration of their isolation or quarantine period.
  • You should advise the student to stay home, not come to campus, and complete the reporting form. Beyond this, you do not need to provide the student with advice on how long they should isolate, what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do while in isolation, etc. The COVID-19 Response Team will provide the student with this advice. If the student asks for such advice, instruct them to contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu.
  • You should not immediately cancel your class or move the class online or to a hybrid model. If you believe one of these actions is appropriate, you should reach out to your department head or dean for their approval before moving forward.

Do I need to quarantine if a student enrolled in a class I instruct tests positive for COVID-19? Do other students in my class need to quarantine?

  • It depends. In most traditional seated classes, the instructor and a vast majority of other students in the class will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms.
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure.
  • If you were within six feet for more than 15 minutes, or had direct physical contact while they were contagious, you should quarantine, complete the reporting form and follow the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
  • You should not independently notify students that they should quarantine. The COVID-19 Response Team has established new procedures for notifying students in classrooms that need to quarantine.
  • You should not share a student’s health information with other students in the class or notify the class that a student has tested positive or is in quarantine.

I believe a class I instruct should be temporarily or permanently canceled, moved online, or converted to a hybrid model. What process should I follow?

  • You should reach out to your department head and dean to discuss your available options. You may not cancel your class, move it online, or deliver it in a hybrid model without approval from your department head and dean.
  • There is not a concrete threshold that will be used to determine when one or more classes will be moved online during the semester. Rather, the decision will be made after evaluating all relevant factors and data.

How will faculty know if a student has been granted an accommodation excusing them from wearing a mask?

  • If a student has been granted an accommodation excusing them from wearing a mask while in a seated classroom, this accommodation will be confirmed in a memo prepared by the Disability Resource Center.
  • Please note that, due to the risks of COVID-19 infection associated with not wearing masks, students will only be granted such an accommodation after other possible accommodations have been explored, including the possibility of taking the course online or wearing a face shield in lieu of a mask.
  • In the rare circumstances that an accommodation excusing mask use are granted, the student will be advised of the need to maintain social distancing, and the faculty member will be encouraged to modify the classroom environment (if possible) to facilitate social distancing.

Can we sit and eat in our break room without a mask?

  • Yes. If there is an area designed where a person would reasonably understand it is to be used for eating, individuals can remove their mask to eat and/or drink. However, the mask must be put back in place once eating/drinking has ended OR when up moving around.

Additional FAQs

Review FAQs about masking.

Staff FAQs

Do I need to quarantine if a co-worker tests positive for COVID-19?

  • It depends. In most campus work situations, you will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms.
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure.
  • If you were within six feet for more than 15 minutes, or had direct physical contact while they were contagious, you should quarantine, complete the reporting form and follow the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
  • Other than notifying your supervisor and the COVID-19 Response Team, you should not share your co-worker’s health information with others.

Do I need to quarantine if a student who visited my office or department tests positive for COVID-19?

  • It depends. In most situations, you will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms.
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure.
  • If you were within six feet for more than 15 minutes, or had direct physical contact while they were contagious, you should quarantine, complete the reporting form and follow the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
  • Other than notifying your supervisor and the COVID-19 Response Team, you should not share the student’s health information with others.

How do I access leave and other benefits available to help me manage my quarantine, isolation, or child care issues?

  • Several tools are available to help supervisors and staff members address scheduling concerns:
    • Section 4.6 of the Employee Handbook authorizes employee flextime.
    • Section 4.11 of the Employee Handbook authorizes telecommuting.
    • Employees may use any accumulated leave benefits—sick or vacation—as needed.
    • Under the Emergency Paid Leave Policy, qualifying employees may receive up to 10 days of paid time off.
    • Under the COVID-19 Work and Compensation Policy, in addition to their emergency paid leave, employees may take up to 10 weeks of expanded family and medical leave if they are unable to work because they must care for their minor children due to school closure or child care unavailability. This leave will be paid at 2/3 of the employee’s current salary or hourly rate (subject to statutory limits of $200 per day and $10,000 in total).
  • Employees should contact human resources and their supervisor to use these available options.

Can we sit and eat in our break room without a mask?

  • Yes. If there is an area designed where a person would reasonably understand it is to be used for eating, individuals can remove their mask to eat and/or drink. However, the mask must be put back in place once eating/drinking has ended OR when up moving around.

Additional FAQs

Review FAQs about masking.

Supervisor FAQs

How will I learn that an employee who reports to me has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • Similar to other situations where an employee is sick, you will typically be notified by the employee.
  • Once the university learns of a COVID-19 positive or quarantining employee (typically through Magers Health and Wellness Center or through the COVID-19 Response Team), a team member will communicate with the employee and encourage them to talk to their supervisor so work arrangements can be made.

What should supervisors do if they learn that an employee who reports to them has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • You should advise the employee to stay home, not come to campus, and follow the directions they receive from their healthcare provider or the COVID-19 Response Team. Beyond this, you do not need to provide the employee with advice on how long they should isolate, what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do while in isolation, etc.
  • You should advise the employee to complete the reporting form.
  • If necessary, you should work with Human Resources to determine what leave, telework, and other options are available to allow the employee to remain off campus throughout their isolation or quarantine period.
  • If the employee has not already done so, you should also contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737 to pass along the information you have. A team member will then reach out to the employee.
  • Other than contacting the COVID-19 Response Team, you should not share the employee’s health information with others.

Do I need to quarantine if an employee who reports to me tests positive for COVID-19? Do others in my office need to quarantine?

  • It depends. In most office situations, you and most other employees in your office will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms.
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person.
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure.
  • If you were within six feet for more than 15 minutes, or had direct physical contact while they were contagious, you should quarantine, complete the reporting form and follow the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

FAQs about masking

Are gaiters allowed as face coverings?

  • Yes. However, university policy encourages everyone to follow the CDC and WHO guidance, and gaiters do not meet the standards set forth in that guidance.

Are masks with exhalation ports allowed?

  • No. Individuals are encouraged to follow the CDC and WHO guidance, and masks with exhalation ports do not meet the standards set forth in that guidance.

Are mesh masks allowed?

  • No. Individuals are encouraged to follow the CDC and WHO guidance, and mesh masks do not meet the standards set forth in that guidance.

Are masks with offensive messages or symbols allowed on campus?

  • Yes. Offensive messages and symbols are considered protected speech under the First Amendment. However, a complaint can be filed with the Bias Response Team.