Guidance for students dealing with COVID-19

We know this is a difficult time and you have a lot of questions. The information below will help you navigate the process and protect yourself, as well as the Mizzou community.

Should I get tested?

If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and contact your health care provider.

MU Health Care’s Assessment Line

Free phone assessments to get an order for a COVID-19 test: 573-884-0948

MU Care Team

For other questions about your COVID-19 situation contact the MU Care Team, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. daily: 573-777-2174

When to get tested

If you have symptoms, seek medical attention immediately. If you are asymptomatic but have been a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19, the current recommendation for testing after exposure is to wait seven to nine days. Testing too soon after exposure can provide a false negative result.

Options for reducing your quarantine period may be available.

What do I do while waiting for test results?

  • Begin isolating/quarantining immediately.
  • If you have a roommate, notify them immediately. Your roommate should self-quarantine as well.
  • Make necessary arrangements with your instructors to continue your studies.
  • Review Mizzou’s available wellness and mental health resources.
  • If you live on campus and you (and your roommate) need food or other necessities:
    • To start meal delivery, please complete this online form requesting your name, student number and dietary needs.
    • Pack a bag of things you would need for several days. If you are required to isolate/quarantine, you may not have access to your room for up to 14 days.  Important items to consider are medications, chargers and course materials.
  • If you live off campus and you (and your roommate) need food or other necessities:
    • Arrange for it to be delivered and left at your door using these pharmacy and grocery delivery options.

What do I do if I test positive?

  • Continue isolating and make arrangements for longer-term isolation.
  • Within 4 hours of notification, self-report your positive case using this self-report link.
  • A Care Team member will contact you within 24 hours after you reported your positive test.

What if I test negative after exposure?

  • If you are quarantining because you were exposed to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and you test negative, you still need to finish your quarantine. The full 14-day quarantine is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and is still the safest option. Options for reducing your quarantine period may be available, in the event you test negative and experience no symptoms. Follow the quarantine guidance provided by your health care provider.
  • It is important you continue to monitor for symptoms and wear a mask regularly because symptoms can still occur up to 14 days after exposure to a positive person.
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Isolation or 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. A person can be contagious with no symptoms or before symptoms begin, making isolating or quarantining critical.  This link explains when and how long to quarantine.

Control the spread infographic

For students who live on campus

  • A member of our Care Team will contact you soon, usually within 24 hours of you self-reporting your positive test. If you have not heard from the Care Team within that time frame, you should reach out to COVIDquestions@missouri.edu or call 573-777-2174.
  • Your Care Team member will help you navigate university resources and policies.
  • You can reach out to them — at any time — for questions.

You will likely hear from your Care Team member before you hear from a case investigator with Columbia/Boone County Public Health department. 

Due to the influx in COVID-19 cases, it is possible that Boone County residents will not be contacted by phone by a case investigator. Those not contacted by phone will be sent a packet of information via mail. This packet will include instructions on isolation for the person who is infected with COVID-19, self-reporting release from isolation information, and quarantine instructions for infected individuals to give to their close contacts. You may be asked to notify each of your close contacts and share the quarantine information included in the packet.

To assist the case investigator with our contact tracing efforts:

  • Make a list of your close contacts and the last day they were with you. People in your home, your intimate partners and people who were within 6 feet of you for at least 15 minutes are considered to be close contacts.
  • This list should not automatically include classmates. Classrooms have implemented social distancing restrictions that would prevent you from reaching the definition of a close contact.
  • After you receive your test result, you will receive an email from MU Student Health Center with the subject line: “YOUR POSITIVE COVID-19 RESULT and next steps for you.” There is a link in this email to share this list of close contacts. This information will help our case investigators and contact tracing team notify close contacts quickly.  Please watch your “junk” or “spam” mail folder, in case this email ends up there.

To start meal delivery, please complete this online form requesting your name, student number, dietary needs, etc.

For questions, call (573) 882-2586. Campus Dining Services meal delivery phone will be answered by a person from:

  • 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday
  • 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday

If there is an unexpected delay in getting your food delivered, please use these options for pharmacy and grocery. Save your receipts for reimbursement.

If you tested positive and are isolating:  A case investigator or Care Team member will call and discuss a tentative isolation release date, answer other questions you have, and will be the one who releases you from isolation. The release date for isolation is typically 10 days after your positive test or symptom onset.

  • If you reach day eight of your isolation and have not heard from a public health case investigator, call the Care Team at 573-777-2174 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily (including weekends) or email COVIDquestions@missouri.edu.

If you were exposed and are quarantining: A contact tracer or Care Team member will call and discuss a tentative quarantine release date.  The current recommendation for testing after exposure is to wait five to seven days days if you have no symptoms. Testing too soon after exposure can provide a false negative result. You should receive a call just before your quarantine ends to discuss coming back. A 14-day quarantine is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Options for reducing your quarantine period may be available. Follow the quarantine guidance provided by your health care provider.

if you receive a negative test and experience no symptoms.
  • If you reach your quarantine end date and have not heard from someoneplease call your specific Residential Life Care Team contact.

Even if you have had COVID-19, you must continue to take steps to prevent transmission and protect yourself – social distance, wear a face covering and frequently wash your hands. You also must follow all the rules enacted throughout campus or you will be subject to disciplinary action like any other student.

 

For students who live off campus

If you tested positive: 

  • A member of our Care Team will contact you soon, usually within 24 hours of you self-reporting your positive test. If you have not heard from the Care Team within that time frame, you should reach out to COVIDquestions@missouri.edu  or call the Care Team at 573-777-2174
  • The Care Team member will help you navigate university resources and policies.
  • You can reach out to them – at any time – for questions.

You will likely hear from your Care Team member before you hear from a case investigator with Columbia/Boone County Public Health department. 

To assist the case investigator with our contact tracing efforts:

  • Make a list of your close contacts and the last day they were with you. People in your home, your intimate partners and people who were within 6 feet of you for at least 15 minutes are considered to be close contacts.
  • This list should not automatically include classmates. Classrooms have implemented social distancing restrictions that would prevent you from reaching the definition of a close contact.
  • After you receive your test result, you will receive an email from MU Student Health Center with the subject line: “YOUR POSITIVE COVID-19 RESULT and next steps for you.” There is a link in this email to share this list of close contacts. This information will help our case investigators and contact tracing team notify close contacts quickly. Please watch your “junk” or “spam” mail folder, in case this email ends up there.

If you were exposed and are waiting to be testedYou will not hear from a Care Team member, specifically, because only those who test positive are required to self-report, which triggers a Care Team call.  You can reach out to the Care Team if you have questions.

Whether you are isolating or quarantining, you need to temporarily restrict your activities and contact with others. Stay home and only leave if you need medical care. If you tested positive, you are required to isolate for at least 10 days from your test date or symptom onset. If you are a close contact to a person with COVID-19, completing a 14-day quarantine from the last day you were with this person is the safest option. Options for reducing your quarantine period may be available if you receive a negative test and experience no symptoms. Your quarantine may be longer if you test positive or experience symptoms. Follow the quarantine guidance provided by your health care provider.

  • If you choose to isolate/quarantine at your family home Determine the space you would isolate at home and consider any high-risk family members you may have. Ideally, you will need a private room, with a designated bathroom. Contact your family and discuss what’s best for you and them.
  • If you cannot isolate/quarantine at your family home Send an email to COVIDquestions@missouri.edu and provide your name, the address of where you are isolating/quarantining and your cell number. Then follow these steps:
    • Stay in a separate room from other household members.
    • Use a separate bathroom, if possible. Avoid placing toothbrushes, towels and washcloths directly on counters.
    • Avoid contact with other members of the household.
    • Maintain 6 feet of social distance in shared areas such as kitchens, dining rooms, laundry rooms and bathrooms.
    • Wear a face covering in any common areas. Your roommates should also wear face coverings whenever they are around you.
    • Don’t share personal household items such as cups, towels or utensils.
  • Monitor symptoms and rest.
    • There is no specific treatment for the virus that causes COVID-19.
    • We recommend you monitor your symptoms, rest, drink plenty of fluids and stay in contact with your health care provider while in isolation.
    • Seek prompt medical care if you begin to experience severe symptoms. Remember that you will need to call the facility first and inform them you tested positive for COVID-19.

If you tested positive and are isolating: A case investigator or Care Team member will call and discuss a tentative isolation release date, answer other questions you have, and will be the one who releases you from isolation. The release date for isolation is typically 10 days after your positive test or symptom onset. 

  • If you have reached day eight of your isolation and have not heard from a public health case investigator, call the Care Team at 573-777-2174 from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily or email COVIDquestions@missouri.edu.

If you were exposed and are quarantining: A contact tracer will reach out to discuss a tentative quarantine release date.  The current recommendation for testing after exposure is to wait five to seven days if you have no symptoms. Testing too soon after exposure can provide a false negative result. A 14-day quarantine is the best way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Options for reducing your quarantine period may be available. Follow the quarantine guidance provided by your health care provider.

  • You will not receive a call to “release” you from quarantine. 
Even if you have had COVID-19, you must continue to take steps to prevent transmission and protect yourself — social distance, wear a face covering and frequently wash your hands. You also must follow all the rules enacted throughout campus or you will be subject to disciplinary action like any other student.