Coronavirus Information Frequently Asked Questions

Updated Thursday, July 1, 2021

This list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is intended to address questions and issues regarding Missouri S&T’s response to the coronavirus.

Please consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for more detailed medical and public health information and guidance.

Vaccines

A COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective protection against the coronavirus. Vaccines are readily available in Rolla and throughout Missouri. All students, faculty and staff should get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. A first-dose vaccination clinic will be held Wednesday, Aug. 18, on campus, during Opening Week, with a second-dose clinic to be held Sept. 8. More information about the clinics and vaccine availability is posted on the vaccinations webpage.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

The state of Missouri is now vaccinating all Missourians, including any student enrolled in Missouri S&T, regardless of permanent residency.

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

According to the latest information from the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Because we are still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19, anyone who has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue to keep taking precautions – like wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces – in public places until more is known.

Should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Missouri S&T encourages all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated.

Where can I find a vaccine clinic in my area?

Find local vaccine availability on our vaccinations page here. The state of Missouri maintains a list of COVID-19 vaccine providers here.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated“?

According to the CDC, individuals are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, such as the Pfizer of Moderna vaccines, or
  • Two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are not fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

Now that I have been fully vaccinated, what can I do?

Download and print: What You Can Do Once You Have Been Fully Vaccinated (PDF – 1 page)

According to the latest CDC guidelines, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you may:

  • Gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
  • Gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks or staying 6 feet apart, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • For international travel, pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
    • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a residence hall or fraternity or sorority) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

Now that I have been fully vaccinated, what precautions should I continue to practice?

Download and print: What You Can Do Once You Have Been Fully Vaccinated (PDF – 1 page)

According to the latest CDC guidelines, if you’ve been fully vaccinated, you should continue to take the following precautions:

  • Take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:
    • In public areas, including all university public spaces and common areas
    • Gathering with unvaccinated people from more than one other household
  • Avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • Watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • Follow guidance from Missouri S&T.
General

What is the best way to protect myself from the coronavirus?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend these measures to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding close contact with others and by maintaining a minimum of 6 feet between yourself and others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily
  • Monitor your health daily and be alert for symptoms

For more information, consult the CDC guidance on protecting yourself and others.

Where are face coverings required on campus?

Due to an increase of COVID-19 cases in the state, Missouri S&T will require all individuals to wear facial coverings at the commencement ceremony on Saturday, July 31, in the Gale Bullman Building. This applies to everyone at the ceremony, regardless of vaccination status. Please wear a facial covering that covers your mouth and nose.  

Effective Monday, Aug. 2, all faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to wear a face covering in university classrooms and labs. They are also required for all in meeting spaces of university-owned or-operated buildings when social distancing is not possible. This policy applies to all, regardless of vaccination status. In addition, unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear a face covering in other indoor areas, such as common areas. Wearing face coverings in indoor public areas is recommended for those who are vaccinated. We continue to encourage the use of face coverings outdoors for all individuals, especially in group settings.

What are the guidelines for summer camps?

For the health and safety of our campers, Missouri S&T will implement COVID-9 guidelines for in-person summer camps, including requiring facial coverings. View all health and safety guidelines for our summer camps.

Where can I get updates about Missouri S&T’s response to COVID-19?

The most up-to-date information on Missouri S&T policy and practices regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is available at coronavirus.mst.edu

What is the process for students who test positive for COVID-19?

Student Health Services will place any student who tests positive for COVID-19 in isolation. A student who lives off campus will isolate at their residence. If a student living in a residence hall tests positive, Student Health Services would prefer to have that student return home. If the student needs to remain on campus, health officials can make alternative arrangements. Email covid@mst.edu or call 573-341-4902 for more information.

Students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and be symptom free for at least 24 hours without medication before returning to campus activities. If a student tests positive and is not having symptoms (or is asymptomatic), the student must isolate for 10 days after the day of testing. 

What is the process for employees who test positive for COVID-19?

Any faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and be symptom free for at least 24 hours without medication before returning to work. If the employee is asymptomatic, they need to isolate for 10 days after the day of testing. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and covid@mst.edu or call 573-341-4902. This notification allows health officials to monitor the health of the campus. 

What is the process for people who have been in close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19?

“Close contact” occurs if a person has been within six feet of a person who tests positive for the virus for 15 minutes or longer. Close contacts of positive individuals must quarantine for 14 days. Contact covid@mst.edu or call 573-341-4902 to receive additional information. 

If someone is a close contact living in campus housing, Student Health Services prefers to have them return home to quarantine, but the staff can offer alternative arrangements if they need to remain on campus. Email covid@mst.edu or call 573-341-4902 for more information.

What is the best source for local, national and international coronavirus updates?

For broader information regarding the coronavirus, there are several good sources; we recommend reviewing updates and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Phelps-Maries County Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

What are the latest travel guidelines?

For the continued well being and safety of the S&T community, we strongly discourage all travel. Please follow the university guidelines for university travel in the Travel Guidance section.

How does S&T plan to distribute the resources it received from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)?

Due to the fluid and rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 response, criteria and covered expenses may be adjusted on a case-by-case basis as Student Financial Assistance works to assist students navigating unique hardships related to COVID-19. Emergency funds have bene awarded to qualifying students based on the eligibility criteria and processed as outlined below. Emergency funds were awarded in amounts ranging from $100 to $6,345 (20-21 maximum Pell Grant award). As of October 13, 2020, all funding has been awarded to students.

More information, including eligibility criteria, a list of eligible expenses and to apply for funds, please visit sfa.mst.edu/covid_emergency_aid.

How will the university decide whether to close campus?

In consultation with state and local public health agencies, as well as the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, the university has developed several criteria to make a determination on whether to close campus or shelter in place due to any spread of COVID-19. These criteria include:

  • Percent change in cases over a 7-14 day period in the county or on campus
  • Cases per 100,000 in the county in which the campus is located (7-day rolling average +trend direction and rate)
  • Percent of positive tests in city/county or campus
  • Access to adequate testing to support contact tracing, including turnaround times of 72 hours or less, as reported by the local public health agencies (LPHAs)
  • New daily hospitalizations per 100,000 in Phelps County (7-day rolling average + trend direction and rate)
  • Hospital and ICU bed capacity in the region in which the campus is located
  • Ability to maintain prevention and control measures, such as access to supplies to prevent transmission, such as face masks, testing, PPE, soap or hand sanitizer
  • On campus quarantine space availability
  • Student and/or faculty/staff absenteeism
  • Guidance from accrediting bodies and/or trends among other medical, dental or higher education institutions
Services

Will people be screened as they enter S&T buildings?

S&T is asking that students, faculty, staff and visitors self-screen daily before coming to campus for any of the following symptoms associated with COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Diarrhea.

We request that you download the Campus Screen app to screen yourself for these symptoms. 

If you are a student and have a fever or feel sick, call Student Health Services at 573-341-4284. Find more information on student resources.

If you are an employee and have a fever or feel sick, contact your local health care provider and your supervisor. Find more information on employee resources.

How many students will be allowed in classrooms?

Class sizes for in-person courses will be limited by classroom capacity under the six-foot social distancing requirements. Many courses will adopt the hybrid model, in which some material is delivered or activities are conducted online, while others are done in person under the social distance guidelines. 

How often will common-use areas be cleaned? 

During the semester, all university housing facilities will incorporate daily cleaning in all common areas. Common restrooms will be cleaned twice daily, and a sanitizing mister will be used three times each week. Students living in apartments and suites should plan to clean their own spaces.

Is anything being done to HVAC systems?

S&T campus facilities staff has been closely following the developing guidance from industry resources to adjust building ventilation systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re also researching other techniques under consideration by HVAC and health professionals. We have convened S&T faculty in the area of aerosol exposure and ventilation design for their guidance and expertise.

S&T buildings were designed to meet building code ventilation requirements, which are based on total occupancy, so most, if not all of the time, the building is over ventilated. Different filtering systems such as high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, like those used in hospitals, cannot be installed in our buildings because the HVAC systems were not designed to include space or achieve pressure-drop required by HEPA-type filters. Upon returning to campus, all HVAC systems including filtration were checked, and they are all in good operating condition. We continue to monitor systems, and preventative maintenance is performed at regular intervals throughout the year to provide the best indoor environment for our faculty, staff and students.

What measures have been implemented to ensure the safety of custodial/janitorial workers?

All employees should follow the guidance and information on safety and sanitation on our coronavirus information website, specifically under the health and safety tab. In addition, we encourage all employees to follow these recommendations from the CDC:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if they are visibly dirty.

What if we see that items are not being kept clean?

Request custodial services by submitting a work request at custodial.mst.edu.

Where do we report an empty hand sanitizer station?

Please report empty hand sanitizer stations to Facilities Services by calling (573) 341-4252. Hand sanitizer stations are being serviced on a weekly basis.

What disinfectants are recommended?

A list of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The list can be found on their website here: epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2-covid-19

What are the appropriate disinfectants for labs?

Disinfectants that are used in campus laboratories are provided through Custodial and Landscape Services. The list of appropriate disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) is provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The list can be found on their website at epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2-covid-19

Is cold water or hot water better for washing hands?

The temperature of the water does not appear to be a consideration in hand washing, according to the CDC, and the faucet temperatures will remain the same. The key to good hand washing depends on the length of time for each type and amount of soil on the hands. Evidence suggests washing hands for 15 to 30 seconds removes more germs from hands than washing for shorter periods.

For more information on hand washing, please visit the CDC website.

What is the maximum number of people allowed in a lab if everyone is wearing face coverings and observing 6-foot social distancing?

In non-bench-related research space, the personal distance space should be used as a guide and non-bench research spaces should be limited to a maximum of 10 people. The number of people in a lab will be impacted strongly by the square footage of the lab as long as the six-foot personal distance limit can be maintained. 

What if I need to visit parking lot operations for a parking permit?

S&T parking lot operations are located at 1201 N. State St. in Room G10 Campus Support Facility. Operating hours are 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions relating to parking or to request a parking permit, please contact parking operations at police.mst.edu/parking.

Is the Miner Village shuttle still running? If so, what precautions are being taken?

The Miner Village shuttle will still run. Passenger occupancy limits will be in place and all passengers are required to wear a face covering. 

What are the changes to on-campus mail services and deliveries?

Campus mail delivery resumed on Aug. 11, 2020. Mail is delivered only on Tuesdays and Fridays. To minimize staff exposure to COVID-19, mail will be delivered to only one location per building. View the schedule.

The campus mail room is not currently accepting packages from delivery services such as FedEx or UPS. These will be delivered instead to the campus building. If you are in a building with limited access (key or card access only), please place a note on the main entrance with a phone number for delivery drivers – such as FedEx or UPS drivers – to call for entry into the building.

For more information, please contact the mailroom at 341-4448.

I lost my Miner ID card. How do I get a replacement?

The Miner Card ID office is operating on an appointment-only basis. To make an appointment please call 573-341-7045.

Will there be on-campus security?

Missouri S&T University Police Department operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year and will continue to provide public safety services to the S&T community. Non-emergency contacts can be made through email or phone at police@mst.edu or 573-341-4300. In the event of an emergency, please dial 911.

Does S&T offer training on the latest safety guidance and how to correctly wear personal protective equipment?

The CDC offers guidelines on the proper use of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE). Please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/using-ppe.html more more information. 

What if I  have more questions about cleaning or building maintenance?

Information about custodial services, including contacts and work requests, can be found at custodial.mst.edu.

Health services

Is Student Health Services open?

Yes. Student Health Services is still seeing patients. All patients must first be screened by phone. To be screened and to schedule an appointment, please call 573-341-4284. For hours of operations and more information please https://studenthealth.mst.edu/.

What self-health checks are recommended?

We request that you download the Campus Screen app to screen yourself daily for symptoms of COVID-19. 

If you fail the screening, please do not come to campus. Employees should contact their health care provider and notify their supervisor of their absence at work. Students should email or call the COVID-19 helpline for guidance at covid@mst.edu or 573-341-4902.

How will Student Health Services support students in residence halls?

All S&T students have access to Student Health Services. Student Health Services operates on the student health fee, which allows students to visit the healthcare team with no copay. Some medications, procedures and laboratory tests may be provided at an additional reduced cost.

Will S&T counseling services continue to be available?

At this time, S&T counseling services are operating remotely rather than in-person. To request individual or group counseling, call 573-341-4211. For additional support and tips, check out the counseling services student resources page. 

Events

Will events be held on campus?

Missouri S&T’s COVID-19 safety guidelines allow for small events and gatherings on campus. Meetings and gatherings must be limited to no more than 35 individuals indoors and 50 individuals outdoors. In keeping with best practices during the pandemic, you should plan to hold virtual events for groups larger than 35.

Exceptions: Students, faculty and staff may host events for larger groups but only if approved in advance. To request an exemption from the current COVID-19 guidelines for your event, please complete this form at least two weeks before the date of your event with a description of the event; the time, date and location of the event; and the estimated number of people in attendance. Due to the changing nature of COVID-19, forms will not be reviewed until 30 days prior to the event.

Human resources

If I or a member of my household have COVID-19, or if I suspect that I or a household member have the virus, or if I have been asked to self-isolate, should I use sick leave? 

Please refer to HR-700 for policy information regarding COVID-19.

What if I have child care disruptions?

Please refer to HR-700 for policy information regarding COVID-19.

I am a supervisor. What should I do if one of my employees is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and be symptom free for at least three days without medication before returning to work. If they are asymptomatic, they need to isolate for 10 days after the day of testing. 

Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and covid@mst.edu or call 573-341-4902. This notification allows health officials to monitor the health of the campus. 

I am a supervisor. What should I do if one of my employees is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting test results? 

Any employee experiencing COVID-19-related symptoms may NOT come to work. Employees are asked to notify their supervisor of the needed absence and contact their health care provider for guidance.

If an employee is tested for COVID-19 and awaiting results or presumed positive but not tested, please encourage that employee to contact covid@mst.edu for further guidance.

How should I record time in PeopleSoft for an employee who is not working due to COVID-19?

Please refer to HR-700 for policy information regarding COVID-19.

What should I do if one of my employees has been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19?

Any employee who comes in contact with a person who tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 must immediately call the COVID-19 help line at 573-341-4902.

What should I do if one of my employees is ill with something other than COVID-19, or if they are ill and are not yet sure what illness they have?

If an employee is sick or has a fever, they should not come to work. Follow your sick leave policies, and direct the employee to contact their health care provider.

What is the process for employees who test positive for COVID-19?

Any faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms and be symptom free for at least three days without medication before returning to work. If they are asymptomatic, they need to isolate for 10 days after the day of testing. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and covid@mst.edu or call 573-341-4902. This notification allows health officials to monitor the health of the campus. 

Will employee assistance services be available for those who are concerned?

If you are struggling to maintain your well-being during this crisis, we are here to help you through our health and wellness programs and support services. Visit the Health and Well-being web page to find out which services are right for you at wellbeing.mst.edu.

Who do I contact for HR-related questions?

Please contact S&T Human Resources at 573-341-4241 or hrs@mst.edu.