Updated Guidance for Employees

August 5, 2021

As we prepare for the start of the fall semester and look forward to the start of a new academic year, we continue to monitor local conditions and consult with the Mississippi State Department of Health for ways to keep campus safe and healthy.

Our COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive Program began this summer to encourage those who are not currently vaccinated to register for the shot. Vaccines are shown to significantly reduce the chance of getting COVID-19 and passing it along to others. Additionally, if you are fully vaccinated and exposed to a positive case, you are not required to quarantine if you remain symptom-free. The university strongly urges everyone to be vaccinated if you have not already done so. To sign up for a vaccine at the Longest Student Health Center, call 662-325-7535. There will be numerous pop-up vaccine clinics hosted around campus in the next few weeks. No appointment is necessary for these pop-up clinics.

In addition to offering vaccines, the university continues to take steps to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on campus. Some of these steps include improved and upgraded air filtration in our classroom and residential buildings and enhanced cleaning procedures. Facilities Management has assessed the HVAC systems in every campus building to optimize air flow and exchange.  In several buildings, additional UV light systems have been installed that kill viruses in the air.

The Longest Student Health Center continues to track cases on campus and conduct contact tracing when a case emerges. The COVID-19 Hotline is still available at 662-325-2055 and can answer questions about testing on campus and exposure procedures.


Keeping Campus Safe and Healthy

  • Get vaccinated! Call 662-325-7535 to schedule an appointment.
  • Beginning Friday, August 6, regardless of your vaccination status, you are required to wear a mask when you are inside university buildings. This includes all public spaces such as classrooms, hallways, restrooms. Masks must be worn over the nose and mouth. It is our hope that we may be able to move to a mask-optional policy if our cases on campus & in the community decrease and our vaccination rates improve substantially.
  • Students and employees are required to wear face coverings that provide good protection and cover the nose and mouth. Face shields are not permitted except in a limited number of circumstances; e.g. instructors or presenters who need to be understood clearly or students who must articulate foreign language enunciation. When a face shield is worn, strict physical distancing of at least six feet must be observed at all times.
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well. Contact the Longest Student Health Center at 662-325-2055 if you are a close contact or have COVID-like symptoms.
  • While Campus Services continues to routinely clean high-contact areas across campus, gloves, cleaner, and wipes are available for students and employees to sanitize areas between cleanings.
  • Disposable masks, reusable masks, and KN95 masks are available upon request.  Building Managers and Operators can access the General Service Materials website (https://www.fm.msstate.edu/gsm/) to request masks, cleaning supplies and other items.

Travel

  • University travel is permitted. There are currently no COVID-related travel restrictions imposed by MSU.
  • For international travel, questions regarding restrictions imposed by other countries should be directed to the international institute.
  • Employees should be aware of and follow updated COVID regulations in areas they will be traveling.

Campus Events

  • Campus events are planned for the fall semester.  While we encourage groups to host events outdoors to the extent possible, no restrictions have been placed on indoor gatherings.

Vaccines and Testing

  • Employees cannot inquire about the vaccination status of their co-workers or students or limit participation in university sponsored programs, services, or activities due to vaccination status.
  • Contact Tracing is being conducted by the Health Center when a positive case is identified. If you are deemed a close contact during this process, you will be notified by the Health Center. Being vaccinated means you will not need to quarantine or be tested if you remain symptom-free.
  • If someone in your department tests positive or has COVID-like symptoms, they must report this information to the Health Center’s COVID Hotline at 662-325-2055. The Health Center will determine what steps may be necessary.
  • The Longest Student Health Center continues to offer COVID-19 testing. Call 662-325-2055 to schedule a test. Test results are usually returned the following day.
  • Mississippi State University strongly urges all who are able to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are available by appointment or at one of our upcoming pop-up clinics. To schedule a vaccine, call 662-325-7535.
  • Numerous vaccine incentive programs are scheduled for the Fall 2021 semester to encourage students and employees to get vaccinated.

Isolation and Quarantine

  • Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of the test (whichever came first).
  • If you are a close contact to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have not been vaccinated, you should contact the COVID-19 Hotline to discuss quarantine and testing. If you are unvaccinated and identified as a close contact, you are required to quarantine for the time specified by the Longest Student Health Center.
  • If you’ve been vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine if you remain symptom-free.
  • If you develop COVID symptoms or test positive, you will still be expected to quarantine or isolate, regardless of vaccination status.

Additional Resources