COVID-19 Masking Policy

October 4, 2021

On August 10, 2021, the university adopted a policy requiring all individuals wear a mask or other face covering (collectively, “Masks”) within all campus facilities.

Since that time, there has been a reduction in cases and the positivity rate within Greene County, Missouri. Therefore, the university is modifying its COVID-19 Masking Policy as set forth herein, effective October 11, 2021.

Applicability of policy

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, and visitors, and requires all such individuals to wear Masks covering their mouth and nose as more specifically indicated below.

This policy does not, however, apply to the Greenwood Laboratory School (“Greenwood”) or the Child Development Center (“CDC Daycare”). Rather, Greenwood and the CDC Daycare will each develop and implement their own masking policies, as approved by the Provost in consultation with the president.

Masking is required in certain buildings and classrooms on Springfield and Mountain Grove campuses

Masks are required to be worn in the following university buildings, including in hallways, elevators, stairwells, classrooms, lecture halls, restrooms, study areas, departmental suites, laboratories, conference rooms, and other common areas.

  • Art Annex
  • Brick City 1, 3, 4 & 5
  • Cheek Hall
  • Craig Hall
  • Bond Learning Center
  • Pinegar Arena
  • Ellis Hall
  • Farout Hall
  • Glass Hall
  • Hill Hall
  • Karls Hall
  • Kemper Hall
  • Kings Street Annex
  • McDonald Hall and Arena
  • McQueary Family Health and Science Hall
  • Morris Center
  • O’Reilly Clinical Health Sciences Center
  • Park Central Office Building
  • Professional Building
  • Pummill Hall
  • Shepard Hall
  • Siceluff Hall
  • Strong Hall
  • Temple Hall
  • University College Hall
  • Wehr Band Hall

Additionally, masks are to be worn during all seated courses or in-person labs that meet indoors, regardless as to whether the course or lab is meeting in an academic building or another building on campus. For example, masks are to be worn in classes that meet in the Carrington Hall Auditorium, Freudenberger Military Science, Plaster Center for Free Enterprise or Plaster Stadium classrooms.

Masks are required in vehicles when used as part of an academic program, such as a field trip, and on the Bear Line, which is required by Federal law.​​​​​​​

Masks are also required within Magers Health and Wellness Center, the Missouri State Physical Therapy Clinic, the Autism Clinic, the Learning Diagnostic Clinic, the Missouri State Speech-Language Hearing Clinic, Center City Counseling Clinic, MSU Counseling Center, or the MSU Care Clinic (collectively, “Clinics”) as well as the Testing Center and other designated areas within Meyer library.

Employees are not required to wear masks in their own private offices within their departmental suites, regardless as to whether suites are located in academic buildings, but may require them if they choose. Additionally, exceptions may be granted by the Provost for particular classes or academic activities for which masking is impracticable or contraindicated, provided that reasonable alternative mitigation strategies are implemented.

Masking may be required at certain activities and events

In addition to masks being required for activities and/or events in the university buildings listed above, the university reserves the right to require masks in other locations and at other activities/events. In such instances, signage will be posted communicating applicable masking requirements.

Types and availability of masks

While this policy does not mandate the use of N95 or KN95 masks, the university will make N95 and/or KN95 masks available to all full-time and part-time employees. Individuals may, however, satisfy the requirements of this policy by wearing washable cloth face coverings. For more information about acceptable face coverings, please see:

Face coverings or masks that are made of mesh or that have open exhalation vents or holes do not satisfy the requirements of this policy.

In lieu of masking, faculty members are permitted to wear face shields while in the classroom, provided that the faculty member is able to maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from all students. Such face shields will be provided to faculty members by their colleges at no cost.

Exceptions to Masking Requirements

In the event that an individual cannot wear a Mask due to an underlying disability, they may initiate the university’s interactive accommodations process in order to request a “reasonable accommodation.” COVID-19 related accommodations that were approved for the 2020-2021 academic year expired effective June 30, 2021, such that they are no longer valid. Individuals seeking a COVID-19 related accommodation for the Fall 2021 semester must initiate the interactive accommodations process, as outlined below.

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.

Enforcement of masking requirements

Students who have not been granted an accommodation and who refuse to wear a mask while in the classroom or other academic settings are subject to administrative withdrawal, consistent with Op3.04-11 Class Disruption. Additionally, students who fail to comply with this policy in areas outside the classroom or other academic settings are subject to disciplinary action consistent with the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Employees who have not been granted an accommodation and who refuse to comply with this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Conflict with Other university policies

Notwithstanding the masking prohibitions set forth in G5.02 Expressive Activity Policy and Op1.01-1 University Rules for Speakers and Facilities Usage, individuals engaging in expressive activity on campus may wear masks that cover their mouths and noses as long as this policy remains in effect.

 

Amended 10/5/21


Updated 8/9/2021

FAQs about masking

Do I still need to wear a face covering if I have been vaccinated?

  • Yes. The CDC now recommends that everyone -- unvaccinated and full vaccinated people -- wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission of COVID‑19.

The City of Springfield doesn't have a masking requirement, does that supersede MSU’s policy?

  • No. A City ordinance on masking does not apply to Missouri State University. The university establishes its policy based upon discussions with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the specific risks associated with the campus. The university will continue to evaluate the risks on campus to determine when the mandate is no longer required.

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.