Health and Safety
Students are not required to be tested before the start of the school year. As of now, entry testing is not recommended by the CDC.
- Face covering: You are required to wear a face covering when you are on the University of Missouri campus in most situations when you are near others. Each individual is to provide their own face covering.
- Face shield: All faculty who teach in person will be asked to wear face shields and/or face coverings.
- Level 3 face covering: 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
- Clear plastic ear-loop face masks
- Face shield
Education about the ordinance will be the primary tool of enforcement. There will be supplies of disposable face covering available in classrooms if students forget to bring their own.
If you are aware of a student disregarding on-campus safety protocols (e.g., not wearing a face covering in class), you can use the MU COVID Safety Measures Reporting Form. To submit a COVID Safety Reporting form, please log in using your University of Missouri single sign-on information. Your information will be kept confidential and is viewable only by staff working to address your concerns.
- If you are unable to wear a face covering of any type, you should reach out to the Disability Center 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 Disability Center.
- 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.
Our medical experts, who also served as leads on Missouri’s statewide medical advisory group, developed our testing plan. We have the capacity to test any student who shows symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals will receive a PCR (virus) test and possibly an additional antibody test. MU does not plan to do widespread testing of asymptomatic individuals because of issues with false positive and negative test results and the low prevalence of the virus in Boone County.
The Student Health Center works in conjunction with MU Health Care for testing. Currently, there is a potential capability of upwards of 3,000 test per day.
We are working to identify a walk-up testing location. More information will be announced soon.
Currently, testing for those without insurance is provided at no cost.
Data for testing is collected as part of public health requirements and is reported to the state, but there is no identifying information regarding cases that would be used in research. Group data may be used to look at the number of cases on campus.
Yes, a physician’s order is required for testing. If you have mild symptoms of COVID-19, please call 573-882-7481 to speak with a provider. Students contacted by a contact tracer will be informed of next steps to get tested. More information about testing can be found here: https://www.muhealth.org/our-stories/how-do-i-get-tested-covid-19
No, not at this time.
Classrooms will be cleaned every day. Restrooms will also be cleaned daily with high-touch surface areas cleaned twice daily. Elevator buttons and rails will be cleaned multiple times per day.
- Cleaning of high touchpoints in common areas will increase.
- Restrooms in community-style residential halls will be cleaned twice daily during the week and once daily on weekends
- Private suite-style bathrooms will not be cleaned by the university to prevent unnecessary entry into rooms.
- Each suite will have a labeled cleaning caddy to be used to clean or wipe down bathrooms and common areas, if desired.
- Do not attend your classes in person, and do not visit any public areas. Practice good hygiene while distancing from any roommates.
- Contact the MU Student Health Center or your health care provider:
- Call the MU Student Health Center (573-882-7481) or your health care provider before you seek in-person medical care for guidance regarding testing.
- If you are advised to get COVID-19 testing, stay home until your results are known. If you have insurance, your insurance company will be billed for the test, and there is no co-pay. If you do not have insurance, there is no charge.
- Your roommates or suitemates should also reach out to MU Student Health Center or their health care provider.
- Take care of yourself:
- Get rest and stay hydrated.
- Avoid public transportation and public areas:
- This includes ride-sharing and busy campus spaces.
- Continue to monitor your symptoms:
- Separate yourself as much as possible from others.
- Stay in a specific room of your home or residence.
- If possible, use a separate bathroom.
- If you need to be around other people in or outside of your home, wear a face covering.
There are always risks opening up campus, but the university is prepared to educate and train our community to understand CDC guidelines. Social distancing, symptom checking and face coverings will be crucial to successfully returning to campus. We continue to closely monitor the rate of disease spread and are ready to pivot, if necessary, to return to remote operations.
Mizzou, in partnership with the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, is hiring case investigators, lead contact tracers and contact tracers who will work for our community. This team will be ready and in place by the time students arrive.
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. The university’s requirements 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.
Access to university resources will be available for students who are quarantining or in isolation. Academic support will be extended as much as possible while remaining mindful of health, safety and privacy requirements. As part of the contract tracing process, students will be provided with more information about these resources. See the Show Me Renewal Plan for more information.
Separate housing locations have been set aside for students living in residence halls who are COVID-19 positive or who are close contacts of positive cases. The location of both quarantine and isolation housing will not be announced to protect the privacy of those in quarantine or isolation.
Our faculty have been asked to adopt flexible attendance policies for the fall semester. If you are aware of a student disregarding on-campus safety protocols (e.g., not wearing a face covering in class), you can complete the MU COVID Safety Measures Reporting Form.
To submit a COVID Safety Measures Reporting form, please log in using your University of Missouri single sign-on information. Your information will be kept confidential and is viewable only by staff working to address your concerns.
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.
There are going to be risks associated with returning to campus, but if our community follows the CDC guidelines — including the use of face coverings, social distancing and symptom checking — as well as education and enforcement, we can return successfully and safely.
Currently, we are making more hybrid and online courses available to students who may feel uncomfortable attending classes in-person.
The CDC has not recommended mandatory entry testing. As opposed to testing on arrival (which provides only a snapshot of the current situation) ongoing monitoring of symptoms provides a better idea of who needs to be tested and who to follow-up with for contact tracing purposes. The situation can change rapidly, and we continue to look into other ways to gather data and make more information available to our community.
No, there is not yet a need to isolate. A close contact is defined as someone who is within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer with or without a face covering.
There is an expectation that all members of our community work together to keep each other safe. Students are required to wear face coverings in common spaces. At the start of the semester, students in residence halls will not be allowed to host guests. Residence halls will also receive additional cleaning throughout the day.
Ellis Library will reopen on August 17. It will close most nights at 10 p.m. A complete list of hours will be available soon.
The Student Success Center will be open August 3 for normal hours (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Most of the services typically offered within the Student Success Center will also be available remotely.
The Learning Center’s Tiger Tutor sessions, which are provided to all students, will be offered remotely via Zoom starting the second week of class. Plans for other student services are still being made. Once plans are finalized, each unit will have details on their respective websites.
At Memorial Union and the Student Center, floors will be marked to facilitate a 6-foot distance in lines and to designate one-way entrances and exits. Furniture will be arranged to accommodate social distancing. At this time, no one should sit on the floor or sleep in these facilities.
All dining halls, convenience stores and restaurants will no longer accept cash, but they will take payments via your MU Student ID or credit/debit card. Additionally, bottle-filling stations will be available, but drinking fountains will be turned off.
Campus Dining Services will be open with social distancing measures in place. The number of students allowed in a dining location will be limited based on available space. There will be no self-service buffets. Buffet items will be served by staff. Floor markers will be used to show where to stand in line and how to keep a safe distance.
All dining halls, convenience stores and restaurants will no longer accept cash, but they will take payments via your MU Student ID or credit/debit card. Take-out options will also be available.
Other safety measures will include, but are not limited to, face coverings for all campus dining staff, individually wrapped cutlery and frequent sanitation of shared equipment.
The programs and services offered will continue, but some in-person activities may be modified to accommodate social distancing. Staff are also looking into virtual programming options.
Yes, the MizzouRec complex will be open, but the facility will be adapted to ensure members can work out and stay healthy.
Upon coming to MizzouRec, we ask that you run through the self-monitor checklist each day and are clear of COVID-19 symptoms.
To ensure social distancing:
- The number of students allowed in the complex at one time will be greatly reduced.
- Some workout equipment and spaces may be off-limits.
- Adjustments will be made as to how team sports will be offered, and some may not be offered.
Our standard cleaning practices will increase, and extra staff will help monitor spaces for social distancing. Additional hand-sanitizer stations and gym wipes to clean equipment will also be readily available.
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.
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.
Social distancing will be in place for all fall activity venues. Events will also be modified to adhere to social distancing requirements, such as using outdoor spaces and providing remote participation options. Any food provided will be pre-packaged and served with limited contact.
Additionally, all attendees and guests will have to swipe-in using their MU ID or provide their name and email address. This will help in the event that contact tracing is necessary.
Welcome Week is still taking place, though much of its programing has changed to accommodate public health guidelines. Residential Life is available to assist students and to help them engage with the Mizzou community. Involvement Ambassadors are also available and are a great resource for students who want to get involved in campus life.
The university recognizes the importance of shuttles for necessary student transportation.
The City of Columbia is using its largest buses, has removed seats to comply with social distancing recommendations and is frequently cleaning buses between stops.
Tiger Line, Mizzou’s shuttle, is managed by the City of Columbia and has the same protocols.
- Buses will travel in a caravan to/from campus perimeter lots because fewer seats will be available per run.
- Students who take shuttles to or from campus perimeter lots are required to wear face coverings, avoid touching surfaces unnecessarily and maintain social distancing as much as possible.
- Hand sanitizer will be available at each door for riders to use as the enter/exit.
- Buses will be thoroughly cleaned each evening by GoCoMo staff.
Many of the off-campus apartment shuttles have agreed to similar safety and cleaning procedures.
Optional or recreational travel on public transportation is discouraged.
For our Residential Life students, books will be in their rooms when they arrive. For other students, the bookstore will be open with proper social distancing measures in place.
A database is being put together that will list spaces available for students taking online courses. In addition to these options, computer labs will also be open.
Yes, while virtual meetings are encouraged, in-person meetings with fewer than 20 individuals may occur as long as social distancing is maintained and face coverings are worn.
Yes, they are possible, provided a robust testing process is in place to go alongside the competition. Mizzou Athletics is working with MU Health Care as well as with the SEC and NCAA to develop protocols that create as low-risk an environment as possible.
Different scenarios are being considered with the consultation of medical experts. Tailgating policies will not be decided until closer to the beginning of the season.
Fraternity and sorority chapters are adopting the same policies as the university and will practice social distancing and other preventive measures to encourage health and safety in all venues, including chapter houses and meetings. Houses themselves will be adjusted to accommodate social distancing.
In addition, Greek houses are encouraged to determine places to quarantine students who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 or who tests positive for COVID-19.
All university-related non-essential international and domestic travel is suspended until further notice. This includes travel connected to university activities or programs for all faculty, staff and students, whether that travel is funded by the university, an external grant, or any other sources. Requests to engage in essential travel must be approved by deans, vice chancellors or vice provosts. All study abroad programs have been canceled for spring, spring break and summer 2020. For more information regarding the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on study abroad programs, please see International Programs Travel Alerts.
Academics and Classes
No matter the venue, social distancing is expected for all members of our community.
Changes you will see in classroom locations:
- You will see fewer than normal students in classrooms to maintain the social distancing requirements.
- We are exploring the possibility of using larger campus locations – such as Jesse Auditorium – for classroom spaces.
Face coverings required:
- Students will wear face coverings while in class. Instructors will wear clear face shields and/or face masks.
- If you arrive to class without a face covering, there will be an extra supply available. Students are expected to supply and maintain their own face coverings.
Entering and exiting:
- You enter a class after the last person has fully exited.
- When possible, you will see one door to enter, one door to exit, both clearly marked.
- Seats will be marked as to which ones can be used to ensure you sit at a safe distance.
- Seats that will not be used will be shrink-wrapped to encourage social distancing.
- You will move to the end of a row to find a seat and not move past a fellow student.
Every morning before classes begin, staff will clean and disinfect every classroom and common area. Throughout the day and between classes, staff will again be cleaning and disinfecting classrooms. Hand sanitizer will be placed at the entrances of all buildings, and disinfecting wipes will be available in classrooms and throughout campus facilities.
Visit the Office of the Registrar website for more guidance, updates and important information for fall 2020.
Schedule changes should be complete by late July but may continue until classes begin. Talk to your academic advisor and your instructors after July 20 – once the majority of changes have been made – with questions about updates.
Tuition will be the same regardless of the mode of delivery. Classes will be taught by our distinguished Mizzou faculty members, individualized to the students in that class and the opportunity for progress toward a degree will be uninterrupted.
Tuition and fees help the university pay our faculty teaching courses as well as the associated costs of delivering our educational experience in this environment.
Before the term begins, a new student who hasn’t been enrolled could contact the admissions office about deferring their enrollment. Continuing students would also need to let the admissions office know and they would then become inactive. Those students would then need to fill out an application for the next term if they wished to reactivate and register for classes.
If the university moved to remote learning during the term, a student would need to go through the withdrawal process, but they would still be able to register for the next semester.
Refund policies would likely be similar to those from spring 2020.
If a student takes a gap semester and they do not enroll at another institution, Mizzou will honor their scholarship if they come back the following semester. Mizzou staff will work with each student individually to address their concerns and answer questions.
Each student’s situation is unique. If impacted by COVID-19, students are encouraged to reach out to the residency staff at the registrar’s office to discuss their concerns.
The Disability Center remains open and committed to helping students be successful at Mizzou. Resources and contact information are available on the center’s website.
In general, students cannot switch to taking classes in a different format once the semester has started. Our courses will be scheduled to be delivered as fully face-to-face, fully online or a blended format combining in-person and online instruction. An exception would occur if a student receives an accommodation from the Disability Center. Students are encouraged to meet with a representative from the center if they feel they might qualify for such an accommodation.
As detailed in the Show Me Renewal Plan, the university is implementing a number of measures to ensure that face-to-face courses are as safe as possible. If students are hesitant about spending a significant amount of time in the classroom, they are encouraged them to register for as many online or blended courses as their schedule allows.
When possible, lectures and classroom discussions will be recorded. Faculty are asked to be flexible with students facing challenges, and the university will continue to provide the support every member of our community needs to be successful.
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.
Laboratory classes will follow the same safety and health guidelines as our teaching classrooms: physical distancing, face coverings and personal health monitoring. Specific criteria are also in place for the use and disinfection of shared equipment in laboratory classrooms. Some laboratory and studio classes may require a higher level of face protection. In those cases, academic units will provide the higher-level protective equipment.
Many courses have already been reconfigured to meet social distancing guidelines while still providing an exceptional learning environment. Students are encouraged to work with their advisors to find more online and blended options if that is their preference.
We cannot guarantee that students will be able to take all classes in an online or blended format, though many options are available.
No, the fall semester schedule is currently unchanged. As of now, classes and exams will be held after Thanksgiving break as scheduled.
Many instructors determined that lab learning could be successfully held online. Consideration was also given to the size of the lab, the number of students and the physical constraints of the lab space.
There is a possibility that the federal government will provide cost extensions that can assist with grant-funded students. But academic units have been strongly encouraged to think creatively about admissions for upcoming academic years. For example, this could allow resources that would have gone to new students to be extended to existing students who may need more time to complete their degree because of COVID-19-related limitations.
Since March, the Graduate School has been liberally granting extensions for waivers and time-to-degree limits. Essential research activities and creative works that can only be accomplished in laboratories (and not completed remotely) will be allowed. However, in the event of another stay-in-place order, these essential activities would need to be reviewed and approved.
Any absences from Missouri while courses are being taught remotely for the spring 2020 semester will not be held against a residency applicant for the summer 2020, fall 2020 or spring 2021 semesters. More information on the process can be found on Office of the University Registrar’s website.