Health and Safety

Reduce risk of transmitting COVID‑19

While COVID‑19 can be a very dangerous disease that is easily spread, there are a few simple principles that can help keep everyone healthy. They include washing your hands, covering your mouth/nose and not standing too close to others.

Wash your hands and minimize contact with surfaces

Regularly and vigorously wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Between hand washings, use hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer stations have been placed across campus. You may also want to consider carrying a personal-size bottle of hand sanitizer, so you have one with you at all times.

Avoid touching surfaces. Throughout our day, we touch door handles, handrails, elevator buttons and many surfaces others have touched. While custodial staff is taking additional actions to keep those surfaces clean, it is not possible to do this between every person. Germs left on a surface can be picked up by the next person to encounter it, who may then become infected when they touch their mouth, nose or eyes.

Avoid using your hands. While it is natural to push a door open with your hands, consider using an arm, shoulder or foot to avoid touching the surfaces with your hands. Consider using an elbow to push an elevator button rather than your hand.

Cover your mouth/nose

Cover your mouth and nose. This is normally done by wearing a mask or cloth face covering to prevent the spread of germs. It also includes covering your cough or sneeze when you are without a face covering.

Don’t stand too close

Keep at least 6 feet of physical distance between you and others. This is generally called social distancing.

We have all felt uncomfortable when someone stands too close and is in our personal space. With COVID‑19, our personal space has been extended to 6 feet because the virus generally spreads through droplets caused by someone coughing, sneezing or even talking.

Avoid shaking hands. Shaking hands has long been the standardized way of greeting others. However, it can risk the health of each person, so a friendly smile and a wave helps keep everyone healthier.

If you are unable to keep your distance, wearing a face covering becomes increasingly important, along with minimizing the amount of time you are closer than 6 feet.

Using these three principles will not only help you, but they will also help those at high-risk of developing serious complications from COVID‑19.

Masks are required on campus

Masks are required to be worn in all classrooms on campus. Masks are also required to be worn in public offices and spaces in academic buildings throughout campus. This includes areas like hallways, elevators, stairwells, restrooms, college and department offices, and study areas.

The university also requires masks to be worn in many other places on campus (e.g. certain offices in Plaster Student Union, etc.). Signs will be placed in these spaces indicating that masks are required. Additionally, each faculty or staff member with a personal office may decide whether to require a mask in his or her private office.

Details about mask requirements on campus can be found in the university’s masking policy. These requirements are subject to change when the board approves a final masking policy before the beginning of the fall semester.

Requesting an accommodation

If an individual cannot wear a mask due to an underlying disability, they may initiate the university’s interactive accommodations process to request a "reasonable accommodation."

Students who wish to request an accommodation may contact the Disability Resource Center, located in Meyer Library, Suite 111, and available at DRC@MissouriState.edu; 417-836-4192; or TTY 417-836-2792.

Employees who wish to request an accommodation may contact the Deputy Compliance Officer, located in Carrington Hall, Suite 205, and available at JuliaHolmes@MissouriState.edu; 417-836-6755; or Relay Missouri at 711 or 800-676-3777.

Symptom monitoring and self-assessment

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe flu-like illness and death for confirmed COVID‑19 cases.

The most important way to prevent others from getting sick is to monitor yourself for symptoms and stay home or in your room if you have any unexplained symptoms.

The university strongly encourages every student and employee to take a few moments each morning before leaving your room or home to ask yourself if you have or are experiencing:

  • A fever (temperature over 100.4⁰F) without the use of fever-reducing medications?
  • Cough?
  • Fatigue?
  • New loss of smell or taste?
  • Muscle or body aches?
  • Sore throat?
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing?
  • Chills?
  • Headache?
  • Congestion or runny nose?
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea?

Additionally:

  • Have you, or anyone you have been in close contact with, been diagnosed with COVID‑19?
  • Have you been asked to isolate or quarantine by a health care provider or a local public health official?

What to do if you have COVID‑19 symptoms

If you answered yes to any of the above questions:

  • You can find information about symptoms of COVID‑19 on the CDC webpage
  • If you have unexplained COVID‑19 symptoms:
    • 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, then call Mercy Emergency Medical Services at 417-820-3003 and tell them of your health concerns.
    • In all cases, contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737. A team member will contact you to give you instructions that align with isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
    • 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 to do if you test positive for COVID‑19

If you have tested positive for COVID‑19, please:

  • Stay home or in your residence hall room.
  • Do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • Contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737. A team member will contact you to give you instructions that align with isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
  • 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.

What to do if you have been told to quarantine or have had close contact with someone who has COVID‑19

If you think you might have been exposed to someone with COVID‑19 or have been told you need to quarantine because you have had close contact with someone with COVID‑19, please:

  • Stay home or in your residence hall room.
  • Do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • Contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-837-3737. A team member will contact you to give you instructions that align with isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
  • 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.

When you can return to campus if you tested positive or were exposed to someone who tested positive

Students, staff and faculty may not come to campus if they have experienced any of the following:

  • Tested positive for COVID‑19 within the last 14 days.
  • Had close contact within the last 14 days with a known COVID‑19 positive person.
  • Had any of the following symptoms within the last 14 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 campus unless and until they do one of the following:

Employees may not return to campus within 14 days of international travel unless they have received approval from a health care provider to return to campus or tested negative for COVID‑19. The test must be given more than two days after returning to the United States.

COVID‑19 testing and contact tracing

The university has developed a COVID‑19 testing plan to reduce campus risks of an outbreak occurring on campus. The three-prong testing strategy is designed to identify cases early and limit spread. The university will provide testing for:

  • Individuals with symptoms.
  • Groups identified with increased risks.
  • Ongoing testing.

No out-of-pocket costs

If you are being tested for COIVD-19 at Magers due to symptoms and you have insurance, your insurance company will be billed for the test. If you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not cover the entire cost of the test, the university will cover the unpaid portion of the test. All other COVID‑19 tests that are part of the university’s testing plan will be administered at no cost to the student or employee.

Contact tracing

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department is responsible for contact tracing for all cases involving residents within Greene County, including individuals living on campus. The university has contact tracing staff to provide additional support to the campus community in addition to the health department’s efforts.

Vulnerable populations

It is important for the campus community to understand that some people are at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID‑19 complications if they become infected. Based on the current data, vulnerable populations may include:

  • People 65 years of age or older.
  • Those with serious underlying health condition such as high blood pressure; heart disease; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; diabetes; severe obesity; or moderate to severe asthma.
  • People with weakened immune systems.
  • Other circumstances that enhance risks associated with COVID‑19 exposure or illness.

The university will work with employees or students who are immunocompromised or have other health concerns related to COVID‑19 through existing accommodations processes.

To initiate the accommodations process, students should contact the Disability Resource Center at DRC@MissouriState.edu or 417-836-4192 or 417-836-6792 for TTY.

Faculty and staff should contact the deputy compliance officer at JuliaHolmes@MissouriState.edu or 417-836-6755.

Additional information

Check online for additional CDC information about groups at higher risk for severe illness.

Cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting

In an effort to prevent the transmission of COVID‑19 throughout the campus community, the university issued the following guidelines regarding cleaning and disinfecting campus.

Under these guidelines, public, high-touch spaces will be cleaned more frequently:

  • Lounges, auditoriums, kitchens, conference rooms, break rooms, locker rooms and restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected daily.
  • Classrooms will be disinfected up to three times in each 24-hour period, Monday-Friday, dependent on the schedule of each classroom. Classrooms will be closed at certain times to allow for disinfecting. Schedules for classrooms will be posted in each classroom by building coordinators at the beginning of each semester.
  • In workout areas and weight rooms, disinfecting products will be available for users to disinfect equipment before and after use. Schedules for workout facilities and spaces will be modified to allow staff members to disinfect the areas.
  • In all buildings, custodial teams will focus on high touch surfaces, including push and pull plates, door knobs, hand rails, entrances, push and pull partitions, desks and table tops, light switches, sink faucet handles, soap, toilet paper and towel dispensers, water fountains, elevator buttons, vending machines, etc.
  • Hospital grade disinfectants EPA registered for use against COVID‑19 will be used.

Custodial teams will continue to monitor and revise the university cleaning plans to meet the needs and support the safety of students, faculty, staff and guests.

Campus changes

We have made a variety of changes on campus to protect everyone’s health.

Reduced communal spaces

While social interactions are essential for a successful college experience, we’ve made changes to limit larger gatherings. While some areas will be restricted, most will remain available for students to work together. We have removed some seating or indicated some seats are not to be used. We ask that you refrain from taking chairs from one area to another unless you can maintain social distancing.

Increased signage

Signs have been posted around campus indicating where masks are required, the appropriate distance for waiting in lines and reminders to not come into areas when having symptoms of COVID‑19.

One-way paths

Some areas will limit entrance and exit to specific paths for normal circulation within a building or area. This reduces face-to-face passage. During an emergency, any exit can be used regardless of this recommendation.