COVID-19 Testing Policy

December 2, 2020
Missouri State University-West Plains has implemented the following policy in order to detect COVID-19 infection among students, faculty, and staff, and prevent and/or reduce additional exposure and infection.

Type of COVID-19 testing

The university COVID-19 testing referenced in this policy includes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and antigen testing. Information about PCR antigen and other kinds of COVID-19 testing can be found on the CDC’s webpage.

With the exception of COVID-19 tests being administered by athletics, all other university testing referenced in this policy will be coordinated by the director of business and support services.

Testing for students, faculty and staff with COVID-19 symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should be assessed by a physician for potential testing. Symptoms may include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Additional information about COVID-19 symptoms can be found on the CDC’s symptoms webpage.

Options for assessment by a physician include:

  • Contact your primary care provider
  • Students contact Ozark Medical Center Urgent Care at (417) 257-5972
    • University has contracted for students’ office visits.
  • Faculty and staff contact Burton Creek Rural Clinic at (417) 257-6111
    • University has contracted with the clinic to provide testing.
  • In case of medical emergency, go to a local hospital emergency room or call 911

Your physician will determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19 and, if so, the process you should follow to be tested.

If you have insurance, your insurance company will be billed for the test. If you do not have insurance or if your insurance does not pay for the entire cost of the test, the patient will be responsible for the balance.

Additional information about testing, including information about other testing locations in the West Plains area, can be found on the Howell County Health Department’s webpage.

Mandatory Testing Required by the University

The COVID-19 Response Team will require COVID-19 testing in certain circumstances. These situations may include, but are not limited to:

  • Student returning to on-campus housing,
  • Student- athletes and certain athletics staff,
  • Residence hall staff,
  • Anyone having traveled internationally within the past 14 days,
  • Students and employees involved in activities at higher-risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19
  • Students and employees where trends indicate an outbreak may be occurring.

If such students, faculty, or staff refuse to undergo COVID-19 testing, they may be required to quarantine for up to 14 days or be prevented from participating in certain activities.

Test Results and Analysis

Testing clinic will notify individuals of their test result as soon as possible after receiving the result from the laboratory. Notifications for tests administered by the athletics department will be handled separately by athletics staff.

All students, faculty, and staff who test positive for COVID-19 or who are informed by a physician or public health official that they must quarantine or isolate must immediately notify the director of business and support services at (417) 255-7258 or the COVID-19 Response Team 417-255-7755.

Additionally, all students, faculty, and staff who have had close contact with a known COVID-19 positive individual within the past 14 days must immediately notify the director of business and support services or the COVID-19 Response Team 417-255-7755.

The university will maintain confidentiality of all test results, but will provide limited information about to the university’s COVID Response Team, the Howell County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, as required by law.

Effective date

This policy goes into effect on December 2, 2020 and supersedes all prior university rules and policies on the subjects covered herein. All provisions of this policy will be in effect through March 31, 2021 unless otherwise set forth herein.