The university continues to balance maintaining seated courses with the health of our campus community. One additional step the university will take this semester to help prevent a spike in cases is to have all students living in campus housing be tested for COVID-19 prior to moving back in.
Your student has received information on this through email and will receive additional information about it today.
It is very important that students only arrive during times that the Testing/Verification center is open AND when their residence hall is open. If they do not arrive during these times, they will not be allowed to move in that day.
You can review the email that applies to your student:
- For returning students who live in Hammons, Hutchens, Monroe, Scholars or Sunvilla
- For returning students who live in Blair-Shannon, Freddy, Wells or Woods
- For all new incoming students
Students can get tested on campus at no cost them, but here are a few things you may want to consider:
- Students may get tested on or after Wednesday, Jan. 6 at a location of their choice and can then go through the express process at the Return to Campus Testing/Verification location.
- While the university will not cover the cost of a non-campus test, many families will find this beneficial so their student does not get to campus only to find out they cannot move back in because they are positive and asymptomatic.
- Your student will also like this because they can avoid the lines and the extra time it takes to be tested.
- Students who decide to do this will need to provide documentation of the negative test and their BearPass ID at the Return to Campus Testing/Verification location prior to going to their residence hall. The test can be a PCR or antigen test. Antibody tests are not acceptable.
- Students who live in the Springfield area may choose to get tested on campus prior to their move-in date to avoid the rush, but they cannot move into their residence hall or on-campus apartment until their scheduled arrival time.
- Students who tested positive for COVID-19 after Oct. 10 and are no longer contagious (usually after 10 days) will be allowed to move into their on-campus housing without having to be tested.
- Students must bring documentation of their positive test and their BearPass ID to the Return to Campus Testing/Verification location to go through the express process before going to their housing.
- Anyone who does not agree to be tested will be required to quarantine at the university’s COVID housing for 10 days, after which they may move into their normal residence. Students should notify Residence Life offices at 417-836-5536 to coordinate their move in to the COVID housing.
- Students who go through the university’s Return to Campus Testing, will check in at the southwest (beach volleyball) entrance at the Hammons Student Center.
- After check-in they will be seated in a socially distanced manner.
- They will be given instructions and observed collecting a specimen using a nasal swab just inside each nostril (less than 1”). This swab will be read 15 minutes later.
- The rapid test is an antigen test that can generate false negatives and false positives. To address those issues, we will also have each student provide a saliva sample that will be sent off for PCR testing.
- If a student initially tests negative with the rapid test, but positive with the PCR test, they will be required to isolate for 10 days.
- If a student tests positive on a rapid test, but negative on a PCR test, they will be released from isolation and allowed to move into their residence hall.
- This testing strategy allows us to identify most individuals who are positive prior to moving into the residence hall while we are awaiting the gold standard PCR test.
- Students who test positive will be allowed to move into the university COVID housing or they may choose to isolate at home. PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR STUDENT PRIOR TO THEM ARRIVING FOR TESTING.
- We know many students can isolate at home and not place others at risk while others are not able to do this.
- We want students to know whether they should isolate on campus or at home so they are not scrambling at the last minute trying to find out.
- Whether they isolate on campus or off, they will be required to be released from isolation by their local health department.
- If they live in Greene County (Springfield), the Missouri State University COVID-19 Response Team will manage their isolation period and provide for their release. If they isolate outside of Greene County, the health department where they reside will provide their release.
- Some fraternities and sororities are requiring that students who live in their housing be tested as well. Those students should be processed the same as our on-campus students.
- Any student who is not living in on-campus, fraternity or sorority housing, as well as all Missouri State University employees, may get tested using a saliva PCR test during the normal weekly surveillance testing conducted at various locations across campus throughout the semester.
We are excited to have your student back on campus and we look forward to another successful semester! If you have questions about the Return to Campus testing, you can contact the COVID Response Team at 417-837-3737 or COVID19@missouristate.edu.