The following message was sent from the president to Missouri State employees on July 24, 2020.
Subject: COVID related announcements – SOAR and Springfield Public Schools
As of today, we have transitioned all of our SOAR sessions to virtual sessions. Prior to this we held in-person SOAR sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays and virtual sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
The in-person sessions required masking by SOAR leaders and participants for the safety of all. However, several SOAR leaders recently tested positive following an off-campus gathering among themselves where masking was not observed. Consequently, the majority of our SOAR leaders are now under quarantine for 14 days – approximately 42 people.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases are now being reported daily on the COVID-19 site. Missouri State University will publicly notify the campus of positive COVID-19 cases when the individual may have been on campus within the 14 days prior to the university’s notification.
No personally identifying details will be provided.
Missouri State often has very limited information about members of the campus community who test positive. There may be positive tests that the university’s leadership, including faculty and staff, don’t know about. This is especially true for tests performed off campus.
Missouri State relies on county public health experts to determine protocols for how to handle positive tests of faculty, staff or students. These protocols guide the assessment of positive cases. These officials will also lead the effort of “contact tracing” to determine who an individual may have come into close contact with.
If you have had a close contact with a known positive case of COVID-19, you will be contacted by the local health department and asked to quarantine.
Due to the current community spread of COVID-19, all individuals should monitor for symptoms.
If you show any symptoms, get tested. While you are awaiting test results, stay home. Continue to stay home if your test results indicate you are positive for COVID-19.
Testing is available at Magers Health and Wellness Center.
Springfield Public Schools (SPS) announcement
We recognize the impact of the SPS announcement on our employees with school-age children. Clearly, this presents an untenable position for many of you.
We are developing plans for faculty that we’ll announce later next week. We are also reviewing our policies for staff, recognizing this will require discussions with your supervisors on possible alternate work arrangements. We ask that everyone please show extra patience and kindness to your supervisors and co-workers as we work through this very challenging situation.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State.
Clifton M. Smart III