Updated Guidance for Students

January 12, 2022

Mississippi State University continues to work with local and state officials to respond to COVID-19 developments. 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 662-325-2431 or visit https://covidvaccine.msstate.edu/.

Additional steps, such as hand sanitizing stations, free masks, regular cleanings, and enhanced air filtration are some of the steps that continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.

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 662-325-2431 to schedule an appointment.
  • Masks are required inside all university buildings regardless of vaccination status. This includes all public spaces such as classrooms, hallways, restrooms, residence hall lobbies and common spaces. 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 need medical assistance.

Vaccine and Testing

  • Mississippi State University strongly urges all who are able to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are available at the Longest Student Health Center and local pharmacies and clinics. To schedule a vaccine at the Health Center, call 662-325-2431.
  • The Longest Student Health Center continues to offer free COVID-19 testing for students. Call 662-325-2055 to schedule a test. Test results are usually returned the following day.
  • 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.

Isolation and Quarantine

  • If you have a positive COVID-19 test, stay home even if you do not have symptoms.
    Stay home until:
    • At least 5 days have passed since your symptoms began (or since your positive test, if you have no symptoms),
    • AND you have no more symptoms, or your symptoms are improving, and you have no fever and do not need fever-reducing medication such as Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen).
    • Remain home after 5 days as long as you have a fever. Remaining at home is important to prevent transmitting infection to others.
  • Isolation should begin immediately, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If you were tested off-campus, you should report your positive test result to the Longest Student Health Center by calling the COVID-19 Hotline.
  • If you are a close contact, you must contact the COVID-19 Hotline to discuss quarantine and testing. If you’ve been vaccinated and boosted or if you have received your Moderna vaccine within the last six months, your Pfizer vaccine within the last 5 months, or your J&J vaccine within the last two months, you do not need to quarantine if you remain symptom-free.
  • If you develop COVID symptoms or test positive, you will be expected to quarantine or isolate, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, is in isolation due to COVID-19 symptoms, or is in quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure must not participate in campus activities, including attending class and extracurricular activities.

Class Attendance

  • You are responsible for notifying your faculty member of the reason for your absences in a timely manner.
  • Students who miss class for any medical reason (COVID-related or otherwise) must obtain official documentation to have the absence counted as an excused absence. If you must quarantine because of exposure to COVID, faculty may ask you to provide medical documentation as they would for any other excused absence. See policy OP 12.09 (https://www.policies.msstate.edu/policy/1209) for established guidelines regarding class absences.
  • Faculty may request that you verify your absences through the Dean of Students (DOS). To do so, students should complete the online form found here: https://www.students.msstate.edu/excused-absences/. Make sure that you first talk with your faculty member before submitting any documentation to the DOS office.
  • Your faculty member will work with you to address homework or class activities that may be missed. Please be certain to form a study group early in the semester so you can reach out to your classmates to get course notes.
  • You are expected to attend in-person classes unless you are ill or in quarantine. Faculty are not required to offer remote access to your courses when the course is intended for face-to-face instruction.

Additional Resources