FAQs for Responding to COVID-19

The following questions are frequently asked cover how the university is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Send additional questions to COVID19@MissouriState.edu.

FAQs for everyone

What should I do if I have COVID-19 symptoms?

  • Stay home or in your residence hall room.
  • Do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • 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 your health provider or Ozarks Medical Center by calling 417-256-9111.
    • If you become ill after hours, then call Ozarks Medical Center at 417-256-9111 and tell them of your health concerns.
    • In all cases, contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755. 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.

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. 
Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

What should I do if I have been instructed to quarantine or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19?

  • Stay home or in your residence hall room.
  • Do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • If you were within six feet for more than 15 minutes, or had direct physical contact while they were contagious, you should quarantine and follow the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, otherwise, you should not.
  • If you are uncertain, you should contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755 so they can advise you and others on whether and how to quarantine.
  • 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.

If I get tested while I am in quarantine, can I stop quarantine and go back to class or work?

No. The purpose of quarantine is to see if the virus develops after having been exposed. It takes up to 10 days for the virus to incubate. A negative test only indicates that it has not developed sufficient load to be detected; however, it may still develop up until the last day of quarantine.

Should I get tested if I am in quarantine?

That depends.

  • If you develop any symptoms, you should get in right away to get tested to determine whether you are positive or not.
  • If you have not developed symptoms, it is a personal choice whether to get tested. If you want to get tested, you should wait seven days to give the virus a chance to incubate since it will likely do that within five to seven days after exposure.
  • However, even if it comes back negative, it may still be incubating so you cannot stop quarantine until the full 10 days since the exposure have elapsed.
  • If it comes back positive, you will be required to isolate for at least 10 more days from the date the symptoms first appeared or when the test was taken, whichever occurred first.
  • If you decide to get tested, contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755.

When can I return to campus if I tested positive or was exposed to someone who tested positive?

Students, staff and faculty may not come to or move about campus if they have tested positive for COVID-19 unless they do one of the following:

  • Met the current CDC guidance to be released from isolation.
  • Been released by a healthcare provider.
  • Been released by their local health department.

Students, staff and faculty may not come to or move about campus if they have experienced any of the following symptoms within the last 10 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 or move about campus unless and until they do one of the following:

  • Undergone testing for COVID-19, received results indicating that they are negative for COVID-19 infection, and provided documentation of such results to their supervisor.
  • Alternatively, may present documentation from a health care provider indicating that they have been approved to return to campus.

Students, staff and faculty may not come to campus if they have had close contact within the last 10 days with a known COVID‑19 positive person.

Students, faculty and staff must follow CDC guidance upon returning from international travel and will be tested for COVID-19 between seven and ten days of their return.

Do I have to quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure if I have been vaccinated?

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥ 2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥ 2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 3 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure

Persons who do not meet all 3 of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

FAQs about masking

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

  • Yes. The CDC still recommends wearing a mask in public settings even after being fully vaccinated and the university follows this guidance.

Are gaiters allowed as face coverings?

  • Yes. However, university policy encourages everyone to follow the CDC and WHO guidance, and gaiters do not meet the standards set forth in that guidance.

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.

​​​​​​​Are masks with offensive messages or symbols allowed on campus?

  • Yes. Offensive messages and symbols are considered protected speech under the First Amendment. However, a complaint can be filed with the Bias Response Team.