President's Email to the Campus Community (February 26)

The following email was sent to the Missouri State community on February 26, 2020.

Subject: Important information regarding coronavirus disease 2019

Dear Missouri State University Community,

If you have been following stories on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) you are certainly aware that it’s a fluid situation with daily updates, predictions and cautions.

Missouri State leadership is taking the situation very seriously. Key personnel are participating in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls, attending webinars and developing health protocols. A core team meets on a regular basis to discuss the changes and the potential impact to university travel and campus safety. Contingency plans are being developed.

The university is working closely with Springfield-Greene County Health Department. Should the need arise, the health department would take leadership of local COVID-19 preparation.

At this time, there are 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States – 12 travel related, two person-to-person. Cruise ship cases are not included in this number. Confirmed cases worldwide continue to be reported.

None of the reported cases have any connection to Missouri State University, and none have been diagnosed in Missouri.

The CDC continues to monitor the situation and provide updates as more information becomes available. The CDC travel alerts and the routinely updated situation summary are the best sources of information.

Missouri State is closely monitoring university travel

Members of campus who are returning from travel where COVID-19 advisories exist are being directed to meet with members of our health team at Magers to undergo health screenings and travel review for determination of whether they can be on campus.

All university travel to China continues to be cancelled at this time. This directive will be revisited as necessary. The CDC has also issued a level three travel advisory to South Korea.

Missouri State student travel abroad is being closely monitored as well. The office of study away programs is in touch with known travelers currently abroad and faculty leaders of study away programs with planned departures in the coming weeks.

All domestic and international travelers should be aware that major transportation hubs throughout Asia and in major U.S. cities have implemented expanded screenings to prevent the spread of the virus.

Practice good disease prevention

Symptoms of this illness are similar to cold or flu symptoms. While deaths associated with this virus continue to grow, there have been none in the U.S. at this time. There are far more flu-related deaths this year.

This is a good reminder to practice cough etiquette, wash your hands, stay home if you are sick and get your flu shot.

This communication is being sent to all students, faculty and staff on the Springfield and West Plains campuses. If you are aware someone did not receive this letter, please share with them.

Thanks for all you do.

Clifton M. Smart III