Frequently Asked Questions


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

Send additional questions to COVID19@MissouriState.edu.

FAQs for everyone

What COVID‑19 terms have specific meanings that I should know?

  • Close Contact - Close Contact is where you have been within six feet for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period to a known positive while they are contagious. Someone is considered contagious two days prior to developing symptoms or testing positive for COVID‑19, whichever is earlier.
  • Fully Vaccinated - A person is considered Fully Vaccinated:
    • 2 weeks after their second dose of a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
    • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine.
  • Isolation - Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation for COVID‑19 generally lasts for 10 days after symptoms onset provided there has been resolution of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medications, and the improvement of other symptoms. For those that do not develop symptoms, Isolation can end 10 days after their first positive test.
  • Quarantine - Quarantine if you have been in Close Contact with someone who has COVID‑19, unless you have been Fully Vaccinated. People who are Fully Vaccinated do NOT need to Quarantine after contact with a known COVID‑19 positive person unless they have symptoms. However, Fully Vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even when they don't have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

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

  • You can find information about symptoms of COVID‑19 on the CDC webpage.
  • If you have unexplained COVID‑19 symptoms:
    • Stay home or in your residence hall room. Most people with COVID‑19 have mild illness and can recover at home without medical care. Do not leave home or your residence hall room, except to get medical care.
    • Do not visit public areas, including class, events or work.
    • Separate yourself from other people. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets.
      • If you live in a residence hall, notify your Resident Assistant (RA) so you can be separated from others and get meals delivered.
    • Take care of yourself. Get rested and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
    • Stay in touch with your doctor. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, including trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, OR pale, gray or blue-colored skin, lips or nail beds, depending on skin tone.
      • 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 Healthcare by calling 417-256-9111.
    • Get tested. Getting tested will help confirm whether you have COVID‑19. Without a test confirming COVID‑19, future exposures will require you to Quarantine. If you test positive, you generally do not need to Quarantine or get tested for the next 90 days.
    • Contact your supervisor if you are an employee and follow their instructions (e.g., implement contingency plans for classes, etc.).
    • Contact your instructors if you are a student to make arrangements to keep up with your course work.

What do I need to do if I live, work or had Close Contact with someone that is positive for COVID‑19?

With COVID‑19 prevalent, everyone should regularly monitor for symptoms of COVID‑19 and take appropriate actions if they develop symptoms. If you have had Close Contact, whether at home, work or other location, students, faculty and staff should:

What should I do if I am required to Quarantine?

  • If you live on campus, you may elect to Quarantine at home or will be required to move to the quarantine housing. Stay home or in your residence hall room.
  • While in Quarantine, do not go to class, events, work or elsewhere.
  • If you have roommates, stay at least six feet away from others and everyone should wear a mask.
  • Monitor for symptoms of COVID‑19 and see "What should I do if I have COVID‑19 symptoms?".
  • Get tested on or after 5 days after the exposure.
  • 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 Quarantine period.
  • If you are a student, contact your instructors to make arrangements to keep up with your course work.
  • If you have questions, you should contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu or 417-255-7755.

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

Maybe. The purpose of Quarantine is to see if the virus develops after having been exposed. It takes up to 14 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.

However, the Howell County Health Department will allow Quarantine to end once one of the two following conditions are met:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
  • Quarantine can end after Day 7 if a COVID‑19 test was taken on or after Day 5 is negative, and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.

Should I get tested if I am in Quarantine?

  • That depends. You are required to Quarantine for 10 full days if you do not get tested and do not develop symptoms. If you get tested on or after the fifth day after exposure and it is negative, you can be released after 7 full days of Quarantine, provided you have not developed symptoms.
  • Even if the test comes back negative, there is still a chance that symptoms could develop up to 14 days after the exposure.
  • Because of this, you may choose to complete the full Quarantine rather than be tested if you are around those that are at high risk of COVID complications.
  • If you decide to get tested, contact the COVID‑19 Response Team at 417-255-7755 and request a free test.

When can I return to campus if I tested positive for COVID‑19?

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 Quarantine or Isolation.
  • Been released by a health care provider.
  • Been released by their local health department or the MSU COVID‑19 Response Team.

When can I return to campus if I have had Close Contact with someone that was positive?

Students, staff and faculty may not come to or move about campus if they have experienced any COVID‑19 symptoms within the last 10 days that are unexplained until they do one of the following:

  • Have undergone testing for COVID‑19, received results indicating that they are negative for COVID‑19 infection and provided documentation of such results to the university, if requested.
  • Alternatively, may present documentation from a health care provider indicating that they have been approved to return to campus.
  • It has been 10 days since symptom onset, they have been fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, and all symptoms have significantly improved.

Students, staff and faculty that are unvaccinated may not come to campus if they have had Close Contact within the last 10 days with a known COVID‑19 positive person until they have followed the isolation and quarantine protocols established by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

Do I have to Quarantine or be tested when returning from travel?

  • Travel within the United States. Students, faculty and staff are not required to Quarantine or be tested when returning to campus from travel within the United States.
  • Travel outside the United States. Students, faculty and staff are required to monitor for symptoms for 10 days after returning from travel outside the United States and must be tested 3-5 days after returning. If you are unvaccinated, you must also Quarantine for 7 days after your return. Students, faculty and staff may obtain testing free of charge by contacting the COVID‑19 Response team at COVID19@MissouriState.edu.

Do I have to Quarantine after a COVID‑19 exposure if I have been vaccinated?

Vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with 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).
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID‑19 exposure.

FAQs for students and families

Do I need to quarantine if one of my friends tests positive for COVID-19?

  • It depends. In most situations, you will not need to quarantine. However, if you have been in close contact with your friend who tested positive for COVID-19, you likely will need to quarantine if you have not been vaccinated.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure
    • Whether you have been vaccinated.
  • If you are unvaccinated and 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.
  • Other than notifying the COVID-19 Response Team and appropriate university officials, you should not share your friend’s health information with others.

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

No. The purpose of quarantine is to see if the virus develops after having been exposed. It takes up to 14 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.

The CDC recommends that:

  • Quarantine can end after Day 10 without testing if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring.
  • When diagnostic testing resources are sufficient and available, quarantine can end after Day 7 if a diagnostic specimen tests negative and if no symptoms were reported during daily monitoring.

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 must wait five days after your last exposure to get the virus a chance to incubate.
  • If you have no symptoms, your quarantine can end after 10 days without testing.
  • If the test comes back negative, it may still be incubating. If you are not experiencing any symptoms and you have a negative test result taken on or after Day 5, you may end quarantine after Day 7.
  • 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.

If I'm vaccinated, do I need to quarantine if it's suspected (or confirmed) that I have been exposed to COVID-19?

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 three months of being a resolved Positive COVID-19 case.
  • 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.

What should students do if their instructor tests positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • Faculty and departments have contingency plans in place to continue to deliver classes if an instructor tests positive for COVID-19 or is in quarantine. Options could include Zoom classes, remote assignments, lectures by a different instructor, etc. If this situation occurs, your instructor or another university representative will be in contact with you to give you information about how your class will continue. Watch your university email account and Blackboard for this communication.

Faculty, staff and supervisor FAQs

Faculty FAQs Staff FAQs Supervisor FAQs

Faculty FAQs

How will faculty learn that a student in their class has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

Similar to other situations where a student is sick, you will typically be notified by the student. Once the university learns of a COVID-19 positive or quarantining student (typically through the COVID-19 Response Team), a COVID-19 Response Team member will communicate with the student and encourage them to talk to their instructors so academic arrangements can be made. 

What should faculty do if they learn that a student in their class has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • You should make arrangements with the student to enable them to continue their progress in the class remotely for the duration of their isolation or quarantine period.
  • You should advise the student to stay home, not come to campus, and follow the instructions of the COVID-19 Response Team. Beyond this, you do not need to provide the student with advice on how long they should isolate, what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do while in isolation, etc. The COVID-19 Response Team will provide the student with this advice. If the student asks for such advice, instruct them to contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755.
  • You should not immediately cancel your class or move the class online or to a hybrid model. If you believe one of these actions is appropriate, you should reach out to your department head or dean for their approval before moving forward.

Do I need to quarantine if a student enrolled in a class I instruct tests positive for COVID-19? Do other students in my class need to quarantine?

  • It depends. In most traditional seated classes, the instructor and a vast majority of other students in the class will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure
    • Whether you have been vaccinated.
  • If you are not vaccinated and 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.
  • You should not independently notify students that they should quarantine. Rather, if you believe that you or other students in the class should quarantine, you should contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755 The COVID-19 Response Team has established new procedures for notifying students in classrooms that need to quarantine.
  • You should not share a student’s health information with other students in the class or notify the class that a student has tested positive or is in quarantine.

I believe a class I instruct should be temporarily or permanently canceled, moved online, or converted to a hybrid model. What process should I follow?

  • You should reach out to your department head and associate dean to discuss your available options. You may not cancel your class, move it online, or deliver it in a hybrid model without approval from your department head and associate dean.
  • There is not a concrete threshold that will be used to determine when one or more classes will be moved online during the semester. Rather, the decision will be made after evaluating all relevant factors and data.

How will faculty know if a student has been granted an accommodation excusing them from wearing a mask?

  • If a student has been granted an accommodation excusing them from wearing a mask while in a seated classroom, this accommodation will be confirmed in a memo prepared by the Disability Resource Center.
  • Please note that, due to the risks of COVID-19 infection associated with not wearing masks, students will only be granted such an accommodation after other possible accommodations have been explored, including the possibility of taking the course online or wearing a face shield in lieu of a mask.
  • In the rare circumstances that an accommodation excusing mask use are granted, the student will be advised of the need to maintain social distancing, and the faculty member will be encouraged to modify the classroom environment (if possible) to facilitate social distancing.

If I'm vaccinated, do I have to quarantine if I am exposed to COVID-19?

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.

Staff FAQs

Do I need to quarantine if a co-worker tests positive for COVID-19?

  • It depends. In most campus work situations, you will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure
  • ​​​​​​​If you are not vaccinated and 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.
  • If you believe that you or others should quarantine, 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.
  • Other than notifying your supervisor and the COVID-19 Response Team, you should not share your co-worker’s health information with others.

Do I need to quarantine if a student who visited my office or department tests positive for COVID-19?

  • It depends. In most situations, you will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure
  • If you are unvaccinated and​​​​​​​ 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.
  • If you believe that you or others should quarantine, 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.
  • Other than notifying your supervisor and the COVID-19 Response Team, you should not share the student’s health information with others.

How do I access leave and other benefits available to help me manage my quarantine, isolation, or child care issues?

  • Several tools are available to help supervisors and staff members address scheduling concerns:
    • Section 4.6 of the Employee Handbook authorizes employee flextime.
    • Section 4.11 of the Employee Handbook authorizes telecommuting.
    • Employees may use any accumulated leave benefits—sick or vacation—as needed.
    • Under the Emergency Paid Leave Policy, qualifying employees may receive up to 10 days of paid time off.
  • Employees should contact Human Resources and their supervisor to use these available options.

​​​​​​​If I'm vaccinated, do I have to quarantine if I am exposed to COVID-19?

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.

Supervisor FAQs

How will I learn that an employee who reports to me has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • Similar to other situations where an employee is sick, you will typically be notified by the employee.
  • Once the university learns of a COVID-19 positive or quarantining employee (typically through the COVID-19 Response Team), a team member will communicate with the employee and encourage them to talk to their supervisor so work arrangements can be made.

What should supervisors do if they learn that an employee who reports to them has tested positive for COVID-19 or has to quarantine?

  • You should advise the employee to stay home, not come to campus, and follow the directions they receive from their healthcare provider or the COVID-19 Response Team. Beyond this, you do not need to provide the employee with advice on how long they should isolate, what they are allowed to do and not allowed to do while in isolation, etc.
  • You should advise them to contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755.
  • If necessary, you should work with Human Resources to determine what leave, telework, and other options are available to allow the employee to remain off campus throughout their isolation or quarantine period.
  • If the employee has not already done so, you should also contact the COVID-19 Response Team at COVID19@missouristate.edu or 417-255-7755 to pass along the information you have. A team member will then reach out to the employee.
  • Other than contacting the COVID-19 Response Team, you should not share the employee’s health information with others.

Do I need to quarantine if an employee who reports to me tests positive for COVID-19? Do others in my office need to quarantine?

  • It depends. In most office situations, you and most other employees in your office will not need to quarantine.
  • Whether quarantine is appropriate depends on many factors, such as:
    • When the person tested positive or began exhibiting symptoms
    • How close you were to the COVID-19 positive person
    • How long you were close to the COVID-19 positive person
    • Other relevant factors that increase or decrease the risk of exposure
  • If you are unvaccinated and​​​​​​​ 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.
  • If you believe that you or others should quarantine, 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 I'm vaccinated, do I have to quarantine if I am exposed to COVID-19?

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.