Employee FAQ

Safety and well-being

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of separation at all times (social distancing). Following the advice of the CDC and the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, use cloth face coverings when it is not possible to keep a 6-foot distance.
  • Take your temperature in the morning before you leave for work, or as you arrive. Log those results and report any temperature of 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater to your supervisor.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Individuals should take appropriate cleaning measures of shared surfaces in a university facility such as laboratories, workshops, studios and residence hall rooms, etc.
  • Self-monitor and run through the symptom checklist daily. If you do not feel well, please stay home.
  • For more details, refer to the Guidelines and Expectations page.
  • All faculty and staff are required to complete training that will provide general guidance for our return to campus. Training is available in myLearn now and is due September 5.

  • You are required to wear face coverings when on campus in most situations when near others.
  • You do not need to wear face coverings when alone in a private work space.
  • You do not need to wear face coverings while outdoors when maintaining 6 feet or more physical distance from others.
  • Our policies regarding face coverings will adjust according to any changes in local public health requirements and guidance.
  • If you are unable to wear a face covering of any type, you should reach out to the Office of Accessibility and ADA to identify reasonable accommodations.
  • If you are not wearing a face covering, you may be asked whether you have a disability that prevents you from doing so, but you should not be asked to disclose your disability or provide medical documentation.  If your answer is “yes,” you will be referred to the Office of Accessibility and ADA.
  • If you are not wearing a face covering and do not have an approved accommodation to not wear one, you may be excluded from University programs and activities.

  • Face covering: You are required to wear a face covering in most situations when near others on the MU campus. Each individual is to provide their own face covering.
  • Face shield: Faculty who teach in person may wear a face shield and/or face covering.
  • Level 3 mask: Wear an American Society for Testing and Materials Level 3 face covering inside lab classrooms where social distancing may not be possible. Your lab unit will provide these for you.
  • N95 mask: N95 masks should be saved for use by health care professionals performing high exposure procedures.
  • Face coverings must cover the individual’s mouth and nose.  You can select the type of face covering that works for you.  Examples of acceptable face coverings include:
    • Cloth ear loop face masks
    • Gaiters
    • Bandanas
    • Clear plastic ear-loop face masks
    • Face shields

Staff and faculty are required to log their temperature daily before leaving for work, or as they arrive. If your temperature is 100.4 F (38.0 C) or greater remain off-campus until it is within the normal range.

  • We ask that the employee contact a health care provider and follow their recommendations. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay home and self-isolate. We ask that they cooperate with contact tracing by public health officials and follow the most current CDC guidance before returning to work.
  • Do not visit campus or any public areas.
  • If advised to be tested for the coronavirus, stay home until results are known.

At this time, the university does not intend to test employees for COVID-19 as a requirement to work on campus. If you have questions about whether you should be tested for COVID-19, consult with your health care provider.

Yes, please visit the Mental Health section of our Resources page for a list of free and helpful services available to Mizzou community members.

We are developing a dashboard for campus that will provide high-level information about what is happening in our community, while still remaining mindful of individual privacy.

If contact tracers reach out to you, you will be asked to quarantine for an appropriate period of time. The work area of someone who tests positive will be additionally cleaned and disinfected to make sure the space is safe and ready for return.

Students who test positive are not currently required to share that information with the university. We are exploring the possibility of requiring that information be provided by those with positive cases to assist with providing resources and assistance. Test results from any health care source are required to be reported to the local health department, which initiates a case investigation and tracing of close contacts. MU collaborates with the health department to provide case investigation and contract tracing support.

Individuals who test positive will be isolated and their public health defined close contacts will be contacted with next steps. Isolation and quarantine facilities will be available for students who live on campus.

Students are not currently required to notify instructors or the university of a positive case, but students should inform their instructors if they will not be able to attend class in person for a period of time, and instructors will provide accommodations as planned for the medical absences. Contact tracers will notify and manage next steps with anyone who is considered a close contact. A close contact includes those who are within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. The university’s requirement that everyone wears face coverings in buildings and classrooms, as well as classroom arrangements that keep students 6 feet apart, are designed to provide a safe environment.

Returning to campus and university planning

  • The campus is embarking on a gradual return that complies with guidance from the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Senior Services, and the advice of our experts from MU Health Care. Throughout the summer, the number of faculty and staff working on campus will steadily increase in preparation for MU’s full return in fall 2020.
  • Those with pre-existing conditions or known risk factors should work with their supervisors to determine an individual plan for how work can be completed.

A variety of metrics will be considered for the possibility of escalating or deescalating MU’s response to COVID-19, including but not limited to:

  • MU associated active cases and Boone County active cases.
  • Availability of hospital care and isolation space.
  • Availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies.

Given the fluidity of the situation, MU is working closely with local and state health departments to monitor the spread of COVID-19.

People should travel to sites with one person per vehicle to maintain social distancing. If that is not possible, everyone must wear a cloth face covering and certify that they have not exhibited COVID-19 symptoms according to the CDC guidelines.

Breakrooms, lunchrooms and gathering areas are closed for social gathering. They may still be utilized for food and drink preparation and consumption. Only one person should be in the space or as many people as can be accommodated while maintaining a 6-foot social distance.

If the restroom is full, please wait outside until someone leaves, and then you may enter.

Most elevators allow for only one to two riders at a time, but elevators that are more than 7-feet wide can accommodate four people per trip. Face coverings are required since maintaining social distance in a confined space may be difficult.

Though elevators will be cleaned often — with a special focus on high-touch areas — don’t lean on the walls or touch your face after pushing the buttons.

Mizzou is committed to making sure every member of our community has safe access to campus and the resources they need to be successful. The Division of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity is working on virtual programming to help keep our community engaged, connected and supported.

MU Campus Facilities has been closely following the developing guidance from industry resources, such as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), to adjust building ventilation systems during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following this guidance, Mizzou is implementing these actions for campus buildings:

  • Restoring operation of the building HVAC systems to ventilate and condition the spaces prior to occupancy
  • Inspecting and completing preventative maintenance of the building’s HVAC systems
  • Replacing the air filters, and, where feasible, upgrading to a MERV 13 filter (MU has MERV 11 and 13 filters currently installed in our systems, which are 65% to 85% efficient in capturing particles 1 to 3 microns in size)
  • Increasing the outside air ventilation to the capability of the specific HVAC system

MU’s HVAC engineers will continue to monitor the COVID-19 guidance of ASHRAE and other HVAC professionals.

Speak with your supervisor about what PPE is necessary for the work that you do. The university will be providing hand sanitizer. Personal-sized bottles will be distributed to each employee and large bottles will be located throughout each building.

HR and employment

  • University leaders are aware of the daycare and K-12 school closures and the challenges they may present for faculty and staff who are also parenting and homeschooling children.
  • Supervisors and employees will need to review options for how work can be completed given individual circumstances.
    Supervisors and managers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to help employees successfully manage their work and personal responsibilities.
  • Please refer to HR-700 policy provisions for more information.

If your supervisor determines that your physical presence on campus is not required each workday and that you can fulfill your responsibilities from a remote location on some days, you can work with your supervisor to build a telework arrangement. Some examples of such individuals would be those with underlying health conditions, or whose work is not customer-facing or others who agreed to shrink workspace and need alternative schedules to meet social distancing requirements.

  • You should always report unsafe working conditions to your supervisor.
  • Concerns about student behavior can be reported through the MU COVID Safety Measures Reporting Form.
  • Report feedback about health and safety concerns in MU research spaces on the Columbia campus, including MU Health Care, through the MU Research Compliance Tool.  Examples can include behavior concerns such as lack of PPE, social distancing, and proper lab safety practices, as well as physical concerns such as lack of an eyewash or sufficient electrical outlets.

Classes and academics

A faculty member should not plan to unilaterally change the way their class is offered.

In the case of a health concern, please contact your HR representative for the process of documenting the need for accommodations.

Faculty should have a plan ahead of time for how they will work with students facing health issues and offer a reasonable approximation of the course. Example strategies might include recording their class lectures or having students participate remotely via Zoom.

Given the challenges in the upcoming semester, it will be likely that some class periods will be recorded so that students who are not able to attend can continue their participation in the course.

Courses may be recorded for the sole purpose of sharing the recording with students who can’t attend class. Instructors will take care not to disclose any personally identifiable information from the student education records during the recorded lesson. All instructors should adopt the syllabus statement for Fall 2020.


In such cases, you will need to work with your department chair to determine any change in how the class is taught. If a faculty member does have to quarantine, their unit will have a plan for how the class will continue.

All faculty and staff will be expected to follow the campus guidelines on safety policies and may not impose alternative policies for their own classes.

All classrooms have been evaluated and the maximum capacity identified where a 6-foot distance can be maintained. Some lab classes have different — and additional — precautions in place. All students in classes will be 6-feet apart from each other and the instructor.

Yes, faculty have the option to choose face shields or clear face masks or wear both if they want.  If no students require accommodations, opaque face coverings are permitted as well.

No, the fall semester schedule is currently unchanged. As of now, classes and exams will be held after Thanksgiving break as scheduled.

The primary focus of the Programing Audit and Restructuring Committee is to create and sustain programs of excellence that also provide a return on investment for students. This committee first shares recommendations with the provost and president. Then faculty, department chairs and the deans of impacted units are invited to provide further data about the recommendations. Final recommendations aren’t shared unless they are converted into actionable decisions.

At this point, the process is in place, but there is not yet anything definitive to share.

The eLearning Team is available to help faculty move classes online and develop strategies to best deliver the course material.

Meetings and events

In-person meetings are discouraged. If a meeting must be in person, it’s required to be in a room that permits attendees to be 6 feet away from each other.

A team is considering these questions and will soon publish guidelines as part of the Show Me Renewal Plan.


Visitors who are not directly related to the individual or unit’s work are not allowed. Those working face-to-face with human subjects must have their research approved by completing the Return to Work Authorization form and are encouraged to balance the research benefits against the potential dangers to at-risk populations.