FAQs for Employees


What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

You should not report to work if you have symptoms (a fever of 100.4 F or greater along with cough or shortness of breath) regardless of whether you are identified as an essential or non-essential employee.  The safety of our campus community is our number one concern.  You should report your condition to your supervisor if asked to report to work, and you will be placed on administrative leave.

What if I need to take care of a family member who has COVID-19?

You should not report to work if you have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19 for at least 14 days following the exposure.  The safety of our campus community is our number one concern.  You should report this to your supervisor if asked to report to work, and you will be placed on administrative leave. If caring for a family member with COVID-19, contact the Longest Student Health Center for guidance on when you can return.

What if my child’s daycare or school closes and I must stay home?

If you are unable to work because you have children at home, you should discuss this with your supervisor.  It may be possible to allow you to work from home or to limit the hours/days for which you must make alternative arrangements for childcare.  While every effort will be made to work with you, please understand that we do need all departments to remain open and all employees to be willing to work as necessary.   

I returned from overseas travel. Do I need to get clearance to return to work?

Yes, if you have traveled internationally, you will need to get clearance before returning to work.

I returned from a cruise or from a domestic area that I believe to be a high-risk location. Do I need to get clearance to return to work?

Yes.

Where can I get clearance?

Please call the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055 before returning to campus.  The Health Center will notify you and your department head by email of the clearance to return to campus or the requirement not to return to campus.  

What happens if I don’t get cleared?

You will be asked to work from home, if possible.  If your job cannot be performed at home, you will be placed on paid administrative leave. You will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, monitor symptoms and not report to work.

What if I or a family member is at high risk for the virus?

Telecommuting may be an option for a temporary period.  Department heads need to determine whether the work that is currently being done can be accomplished in an effective manner by telecommuting.  Please speak with your supervisor.

I traveled over spring break. What do I do?

For all MSU faculty, students or staff returning from travel abroad, from a cruise, or from an area that you believe to be highly impacted by COVID-19, MSU is following the recommendation of the CDC in requiring that you stay home for 14 days. As of today (March 16, 2020), that list includes the countries below and a list of European countries, and those returning from a cruise.  However, we realize that some domestic locations may also pose a risk at this time.

If you are returning from travel abroad, from a cruise, or from an area that you believe to be highly impacted by COVID-19, please contact the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055 before returning to campus.  A health center employee will pre-screen you before you are cleared to return to campus.

Employees returning from level CDC Level 3 countries or cruises will be required to stay home for 14 days, monitor their health, and practice social distancing.  Employees with a high risk of exposure returning from other locations may be asked to stay at home as well.  If you are sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing, please call the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055. Please notify your supervisor.  You will need to provide proof of your travel and you will be required to work from home to the extent possible until you have been home and symptom free for the required 14 days.  

As of March 16, Level 3 countries are:

As indicated here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/after-travel-precautions.html

Site to search status of all countries: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/

I had a meeting, conference, event, etc. planned for this week. Do I still go?

All university-sponsored events and gatherings have been cancelled or postponed through April 15 to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of any illness. All international travel is cancelled.  Non-essential out-of-state domestic travel should be postponed through April 15.  Only travel that is critical to University operations should be approved.  Please understand that these travel restrictions may be extended to a later date.   

I would like my student worker and/or graduate assistant to return to work. Can I ask them to do so?

Whether to return to work will be left to the student's discretion. You are welcome to reach out to ask if they are interested and willing to return but a student cannot be penalized if they choose not to return. A student is only paid for hours worked.

What happens if someone in the office is sick? Could I be affected?

We encourage sick employees to take time off to get well. Coming to work can increase the spread of an illness. Take basic steps to protect yourself and coworkers:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.

I’ve been determined to be a patient-under-investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 or have been exposed to a PUI. What should I do?

Do not come to work. Contact the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055 for further instructions.

I have an employee who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

Ask them to contact the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055.

I’m feeling really stressed worrying about COVID-19. How can I get support?

We know the news about COVID-19 can be stressful; please feel free to utilize the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) by calling 1-866-219-1232 (Toll-free) or visit the Human Resources Management page for more information: https://www.hrm.msstate.edu/benefits/eap/