Frequently Asked Questions


Updated 1/12/2022

FAQs for everyone

What COVID‑19 terms have specific meanings that I should know?

  • Booster vaccine - One or more additional doses of vaccine to increase a fully vaccinated person’s protection against serious illness from COVID-19. Boosters are recommended for most individuals over age 11 and five months after their last dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months after their initial dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.
  • Close contact - Close contact is where you have been within six feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period to a known positive while they are contagious. Someone is considered contagious two days prior to developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID‑19, whichever is earlier.
  • Full boosted - A person is considered fully boosted when they have completed all of their primary vaccination series and all recommended booster vaccine doses.
  • Fully vaccinated - A person is considered fully vaccinated:
    • Two weeks after their second dose of a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.
  • Isolation - Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation for COVID‑19 generally lasts for five days after symptoms onset provided there has been resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and the improvement of other symptoms. For those that do not develop symptoms, isolation can end five days after their first positive test. In all cases, face coverings must be worn for an additional five days after release from isolation. 
  • Quarantine - Quarantine is a strategy used to prevent transmission of COVID-19 by keeping people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 apart from others and generally lasts for five days after the date of the last close contact with someone that is positive.

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. Most people with COVID‑19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave home except to get medical care. Do not leave your residence hall room until moved by Residence Life staff, except to get medical care.
    • Do not visit public areas, including class, events or work.
    • Separate yourself from other people. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets.
      • If you live in a residence hall, notify your resident assistant (RA) so you can be separated from others and get meals delivered.
    • Take care of yourself. Get rested and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
    • Stay in touch with your doctor. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, including persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, OR pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
      • 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, or contact your health care provider.
      • If you become ill after Magers is closed, call the Mercy Nurse on Call at 417-820-6055.
    • Get tested. Getting tested will help confirm whether you have COVID‑19. Without a test confirming COVID‑19, future exposures will require you to Quarantine. If you test positive, you generally do not need to Quarantine or get tested for the next 90 days.
    • Contact your supervisor if you are an employee and follow their instructions (e.g., implement contingency plans for classes, etc.).
    • Contact your instructors if you are a student 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 do I need to do if I live, work or had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID‑19?

Complete the MSU exposure form.

What happens next depends on several things.

People who have received their primary vaccination series and all recommended boosters or have tested positive within the last 90 days are NOT required to quarantine

If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are in one of the following groups, you do not need to quarantine.

However, you must follow these guidelines:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days from the date of your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • Get tested at least five days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate from other people and follow recommendations in the isolation section below.

People who have NOT received their primary vaccination series of a vaccine and all recommended boosters or have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days are required to quarantine

If you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should quarantine if you are in one of the following groups:

  • You have completed the primary series of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • You received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine over two months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • You are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary series.​​​​​​​

Additional information:

What should I do if I am required to quarantine?

  • Complete the MSU exposure form if you have not already done so.
  • If you live on campus, you may elect to quarantine in your room, at home or you can move to the quarantine housing. If you do not live on campus, stay home away from others. 
  • While in quarantine, do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • If you have roommates, try to stay at least six feet away from others and everyone should wear a mask.
  • Monitor for symptoms of COVID‑19 and see "What should I do if I have COVID‑19 symptoms?".
  • Consider getting tested on or after five days after the exposure.
  • 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 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 you have questions, you should contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737.

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

Not before the fifth day. While it is recommended to be tested on or after the fifth day in quarantine to determine whether you are positive but asymptomatic, a negative test does not allow someone in quarantine to be released before the fifth day. 

Should I get tested if I am in quarantine?

Testing is recommended on the fifth day after close contact with a positive individual. 

If you do not develop symptoms, consider getting tested at least five days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19.

  • If you test negative, you can leave your home, but continue to wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home and in public until 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19.
  • If you test positive, you should isolate for at least five days from the date of your positive test (if you do not have symptoms). If you do develop COVID-19 symptoms, isolate for at least five days from the date your symptoms began (the date the symptoms started is day 0).
  • Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.

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 for COVID‑19?

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

  • Met the current CDC guidance to be released from isolation.
  • Been released by a health care provider.
  • Been released by their local health department or the MSU COVID‑19 Response Team.

When can I return to campus if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

Students, staff and faculty may not come to or move about campus if they have experienced any COVID‑19 symptoms within the last five days that are unexplained until they do one of the following:

  • Have undergone testing for COVID‑19, received results indicating that they are negative for COVID‑19 infection and provided documentation of such results to the university, if requested.
  • Alternatively, may present documentation from a health care provider indicating that they have been approved to return to campus.
  • It has been five days since symptom onset, they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, all symptoms have significantly improved, AND they wear a face covering for an additional five days. 

Students, staff and faculty  may not come to campus if they have had close contact with a known COVID-19 positive person until at least five days after their last date of close contact and they must wear a well-fitting mask until their tenth day after their last close contact. 

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​When can I return to campus if I've had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19?

Students, staff and faculty may not come to campus if they have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 until at least five days after their last date of close contact and they must wear a well-fitting mask until their tenth day after their last close contact.

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

The university does not have any requirements in addition to those required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Updated 1/10/2022

FAQs about masking

Do I still need to wear a face covering?

  • Not in most situations. The university requires face coverings in a limited number of situations, which can be found in the current COVID-19 Masking policy

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.

Updated 1/10/2022

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), the COVID‑19 Response Team 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 if you have not already done so. 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.
  • You are not to 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, or other students, need to quarantine if a student enrolled in a class I instruct tests positive for COVID‑19?

  • 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:
    • Vaccination/booster status.
    • 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.
    • Vaccination status of the Close Contacts.
  • To determine whether you need to Quarantine, refer to "What do I need to do if I live, work or had close contact with someone that is positive for COVID‑19?"
  • You should not independently notify students that they should Quarantine.
  • You should not share a student’s health information with other students or employees in the class or notify the class that a student has tested positive or is in Quarantine.
  • If you have additional questions, contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737.

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, dean and Provost.
  • 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.

Staff FAQs

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

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), the team 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?

Do I, or others in my work area need to Quarantine if an employee who reports to me tests positive for COVID‑19?

  • 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:
    • Vaccination status.
    • 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.
  • To determine whether you need to Quarantine, refer to "What do I need to do if I live, work or had close contact with someone that is positive for COVID‑19?"
  • You should not independently notify other employees that they should Quarantine.
  • You should not share an employee's health information with other employees that an employee has tested positive or is in Quarantine.
  • If you have additional questions, contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737.