FAQs for Responding to COVID-19

The following questions are frequently asked cover how the university is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Send additional questions to COVID19@MissouriState.edu.

FAQs for everyone

What should I do if I have COVID‑19 symptoms?

  • You can find information about symptoms of COVID‑19 on the CDC webpage.
  • If you have unexplained COVID‑19 symptoms:
    • Stay home or in your residence hall room.
    • Do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
    • If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1.
    • If it is not an emergency, but you need to seek medical attention, contact Magers Health and Wellness Center by calling 417-836-4000.
    • If you become ill after Magers is closed, call the Mercy Nurse on Call at 417-820-6055.
    • If you are an employee, contact your supervisor and follow their instructions (e.g., implement contingency plans for classes, etc.).
    • If you are a student, contact your instructors to make arrangements to keep up with your course work. You can also contact the Student Success InfoLine for resources to help you keep up with your coursework.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

What should I do if I have been instructed to quarantine or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID‑19?

  • Stay home or in your residence hall room.
  • Do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • If you are unvaccinated and were within six feet for more than 15 minutes, or had direct physical contact while they were contagious, or if you have been instructed to quarantine by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, you should quarantine, complete the reporting form and follow the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, otherwise, you should not.
  • If you are uncertain, you should contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737 so they can advise you and others on whether and how to quarantine.
  • If you are an employee, contact your department head or supervisor and follow their instructions (e.g., implement contingency plans for classes, etc.). If necessary, you should work with Human Resources to determine what leave, telework, and other options are available to allow you to remain off campus throughout your isolation or quarantine period.
  • If you are a student, contact your instructors to make arrangements to keep up with your course work. You can also contact the Student Success InfoLine for resources to help you keep up with your coursework.

If I get tested while I am in quarantine, can I stop quarantine and go back to class or work?

Maybe. The purpose of quarantine is to see if the virus develops after having been exposed. It takes up to 14 days for the virus to incubate. A negative test only indicates that it has not developed sufficient load to be detected; however, it may still develop up until the last day of quarantine.

However, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department will allow quarantine to end once one of the two following conditions are met:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
  • Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen test taken at least five days after the exposure is negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.

Should I get tested if I am in quarantine?

  • That depends.
  • If you develop any unexplained symptoms, you should contact Magers Health and Wellness Center or your healthcare provider right away to get tested to determine whether you are positive or not.
  • If you have not developed symptoms, it is a personal choice whether to get tested.
  • If you want to get tested, you must wait five days after your last exposure to give the virus a chance to incubate.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, you may end quarantine after 10 days without being tested.
  • If your test comes back negative, it may still be incubating. If you are not experiencing any symptoms and received a negative test result taken on or after Day 5, you may end quarantine after Day 7.
  • If it comes back positive, you will be required to isolate for at least 10 more days from the date the symptoms first appeared or when the test was taken, whichever occurred first.
  • If you decide to get tested, contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu and request a free test.

When can I return to campus if I tested positive or was exposed to someone who tested positive?

Students, staff and faculty may not come to or move about campus if they have tested positive for COVID‑19 unless they do one of the following:

  • Met the current CDC guidance to be released from isolation.
  • Been released by a healthcare provider.
  • Been released by their local health department.

Students, staff and faculty may not come to or move about campus if they have experienced any of the following symptoms within the last 10 days that are unexplained*:

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headache.
  • Sore throat.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

*Students, faculty and staff may not return to or move about campus unless and until they do one of the following:

  • Undergone testing for COVID‑19, received results indicating that they are negative for COVID‑19 infection, and provided documentation of such results to their supervisor.
  • Alternatively, may present documentation from a health care provider indicating that they have been approved to return to campus.
  • It has been 10 days since symptom onset, they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and all symptoms have significantly improved.

Students, staff and faculty that are unvaccinated may not come to campus if they have had close contact within the last 14 days with a known COVID‑19 positive person until they have followed the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Do I have to quarantine or be tested when returning from travel?

Students, faculty and staff are not required to quarantine or be tested when returning to campus from travel within the United States.

Students, faculty and staff are required to monitor for symptoms for 10 days and must be tested 3-5 days after returning from any international travel. If you are unvaccinated, you must also quarantine for 7 days after your return. Students, faculty and staff may obtain testing free of charge by contacting the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu.

Do I have to quarantine after a COVID‑19 exposure if I have been vaccinated?

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID‑19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine).
  • Are within three months of being a resolved Positive COVID‑19 case.
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID‑19 exposure.

Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID‑19.

Are masks required on campus?

  • Not in most cases. There are a limited number of circumstances where they are still required, such as in our medical clinics and the Bear Line. These locations will be clearly identified.