COVID-19 Information

See the latest updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including a list of University contact information at semo.edu/covid19.

Protect the Nest

Last Updated July 8, 2021.

Introduction and Guiding Principles

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Jan. 21, 2021.

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors has guided every decision. Our goal is to continue providing the quality academic experience that is the hallmark of the Southeast experience. The focus is on educating our students in a safe environment while working to minimize exposure to the virus.

The Protect the Nest plan was designed and implemented with these guiding principles in mind. Originally implemented in July 2020, the plan is reviewed and updated on a regular basis.

The University’s Emergency Response Team, working under the auspices of Southeast’s Emergency Operations Center, is leading these efforts and holds regulars meetings to monitor, evaluate, coordinate and plan. The team brings together key University leaders from across the campus and represents all major facets of the institution. Their work guides every decision as the University deals with the challenges of COVID-19.

Southeast is also committed to seeking input from and following guidance provided by:

  • Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center
  • The City of Cape Girardeau
  • Cape Girardeau County
  • Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management
  • Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s Show Me Strong plan
  • Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The following is a current outline of the Protect the Next plan. Additional information, including campus advisories and resources is available on the University’s COVID-19 webpage.

The University will continue planning, updating and taking necessary actions to protect the health and safety of our University community and to ensure the continuity of our operations with intentional strategic direction as we continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Emergency Operations Center

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Nov. 20, 2020

The University’s Emergency Response Team works under the auspices of Southeast’s Emergency Operations Center. The team brings together 23 key University leaders from across the campus and represents all major facets of the institution.

Emergency Response Team

Last updated July 8, 2021.

Membership is as follows:

Name Title
Brady Barke Director of Athletics
Dr. Debbie Below Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success
Floyd Davenport Assistant Vice President of Information Technology
Autumn Gentry Safety Specialist
Beth Glaus Director of the Department of Public Safety
Dr. Mike Godard Southeast Provost
Jeremy Gray Emergency Management Director
Kathy Harper Director of University Communications
Dr. Doug Koch Vice Provost
Dr. Kimberly Louie Faculty Senate
Chris Martin Chief of Staff, Assistant to the President for Strategy and Government Relations, and Secretary to the Board of Regents
Angela Meyer Director of Facilities Management
Joel Philpott Student Government Association
Michelle Queiser Communications Specialist
Sonia Rucker Vice President for Equity, Access and Behavioral Health and Dean of Students
Dr. Brad Sheriff Vice President for Finance and Administration
Dr. Bruce Skinner Associate Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Kendra Skinner Director of Residence Life
Alissa Davis Director of Human Resources
Dr. Carlos Vargas President of Southeast Missouri State University
Tonya Wells Director of University Marketing

Subcommittees

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Jan. 8, 2021

From the team, six subcommittees were formed to plan for the reopening of our campus:

Campus Signage

Name Department
Tonya Wells, Chair University Marketing
Jeremy Gray Emergency Management
Michelle Queiser University Communications
Krista Mayfield University Marketing
Dr. Brooke Clubbs Communication Studies

Guidelines for Return from Teleworking

Name Department
Beth Glaus, Chair Public Safety
Alissa Davis Human Resources
Jeremy Gray Emergency Management
Trae Mitten Equity, Access and Behavioral Health
Dr. Mike Godard Office of the Provost
Dr. Debbie Below Enrollment Management and Student Success

Classroom Safety

Name Department
Dr. Doug Koch, Chair Office of the Provost
Angela Meyer Facilities Management
Dr. John Kraemer Biology/Environmental Analysis
Sonia Rucker Equity, Access and Behavioral Health
Rhonda Weller Stilson Holland College of Arts and Media
Toni Alexander History and Anthropology
Mike Biros IT User Services

Residence Hall Safety

Name Department
Dr. Bruce Skinner, Chair Student Life
Beth Glaus Public Safety
Dr. Kendra Skinner Residence Life
Andy Tinney Facilities Management
Autumn Gentry Facilities Management
Dr. Kevin Timlin International Education and Services
Matthew Ludwig Chartwells

Event/Mass Gathering Safety

Name Department
Brady Barke, Chair Athletics
Wil Gorman Show Me Center
Chris Martin Office of the President
Dr. Trudy Lee University Advancement
Lenell Hahn Admissions
Katie Krodinger New Student Programs
Brent Pfeiffer Facilities Management
Dr. Kenn Stilson Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance
Jeremy Gray Emergency Management

Communications

Name Department
Dr. Debbie Below, Co-Chair Enrollment Management and Student Success
Tonya Wells, Co-Chair University Marketing
Kathy Harper University Communications
Chris Martin Office of the President
Michelle Queiser University Communications
Jeff Honza Athletics

Textbook Rental

Last updated May 18, 2021,

Details on returning textbooks can be found on the Textbook Rental website.

For details on picking up textbooks for the summer session, visit the Textbook Rental website

If you have questions regarding your textbook, contact Textbook Rental during regular business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at (573) 651-2236 or rentabook@semo.edu.

Classroom Principles

Last updated May 18, 2021.

Guidelines for the summer semester, effective May 19 through Aug. 13, 2021:

  • Social distancing limited will be reduced from six (6) feet to three (3) feet whether indoors or outdoors.
  • Face covering requirements are suspended for the summer semester with the following exceptions:
    • Face covering requirements in face-to-face classes during the remainder of the summer sessions will be a classroom management determiniation of the fauclty teaching that specific class. Students are expected to adhere to the classroom guidance provided by the faculty member.

For more information, contact the Office of the Provost at provost@semo.edu or (573) 651-2063. 

Residence Life

Last updated May 18, 2021.

The residence halls at Southeast are an important part of a student’s college experience and a series of steps are being taken to assist our students living on campus during the summer. The Resident Handbook has been updated to include COVID-19 and public health-informed guidance. This handbook is available on Residence Life's site.

Residence Hall Living

  • Customer service desks continue to loan gaming equipment and kitchen supplies.
  • Signage reminding students of behavioral expectations concerning any social distancing or face covering expectations are posted throughout the residence halls.

Residence Hall Cleaning

  • University custodial staff continues to conduct enhanced cleaning and sanitizing in common areas and shared spaces following CDC guidelines.
  • Residence Life staff disinfect high-touch areas (e.g., door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, etc.) as part of evening and weekend duty rounds.
  • Sanitizing spray is available in the common areas and shared bathroom facilities for residents to clean spaces before and after use.
  • Students should continue to have extra cleaning supplies on hand for use in their rooms.

In consultation with public health officials, students who are being tested for possible COVID-19 exposure, or who are required to quarantine at the direction of a local public health agency or other health care provider, will be provided a room in Towers East or allowed to remain in their suite-style room during their quarantine period. Suite-style rooms are defined as those that have their own bathroom or share a bathroom with the adjoining room. Students who require isolation because of a confirmed COVID-19 test will be provided on-campus housing in a single room in Towers East. Students in Towers East will have their meals delivered to the floor and will have access to other University services such as laundry, cable and Wi-Fi. 

Campus Dining

Last updated May 18, 2021.

Campus Dining will continue to operate with additional safety measures in place.

Additional safety measures include:

  • Campus dining staff will wear face coverings while serving members of the campus community. Staff will also have their temperature taken and complete a health survey prior to the start of their shift.
  • Individually wrapped items will be available for guests not wanting to eat in the dining areas.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces will take place every 30 minutes.

Hours of operational, including holiday and break schedules, is available at dineoncampus.com/semo/hours.

Health and Safety Practices
Last updated May 18, 2021.

Face Coverings

Last updated May 18, 2021.

Cape Girardeau County’s positivity rates and active case counts have consistently remained low since early March 2021, resulting in the county recently rescinding its face covering order. On May 13, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a further easing of mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people.

Given the increasingly low numbers of positive cases both on campus and in the region, and open access to the COVID-19 vaccine, for the summer semester and effective May 19 through Aug. 13, 2021:

  • Face coverings requirements are suspended for the summer semester, with the following exceptions:
    • Face covering requirements in face-to-face classes during the remainder of the summer sessions will be a classroom management determination of the fauclty teaching that specific class. Students are expected to adhere to the classroom guidance provided by the faculty member.
    • Face coverings may be required for some summer camps, conferences and University events. Please contact the camp or event administrator for details.

Everyone is encouraged to be respectful and mindful of individuals who may not be comfortable having interactions on campus without the use of face coverings by wearing your mask. The continued use of plexiglass shields, hand sanitizer and disinfectant spray is also still strongly encouraged. 

Guidelines for the fall 2021 semester will be established at a later date.

Daily Symptom Check

Last reviewed May 18, 2021Last updated Aug. 17, 2020.

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 requires personal action on everyone’s part. Self-screen daily for symptoms (not related to allergies) to help keep our community healthy. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste/smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing

If you have symptoms:

  • Stay home and away from others. Do not attend class or go to work.
  • Contact your medical provider.

Students with symptoms:

Students should notify their instructors and:

Employees with symptoms:

Employees should notify their supervisor and:

  • Director of Human Resources Alissa Davis / adavis@semo.edu / (573) 651-2081

Both students and employees should follow the community health protocols recommended by the University and established by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. The CDC provides guidance on self-isolation and quarantine and is a good resource, but COVID-19 response is directed at the local level by the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center.

Social Distancing

Last updated May 18, 2021.

Social distancing, also called physical distancing, means keeping physical space between you and other people outside of your home. Those in your “family unit” are your roommates, suitemates or members of the same household.

Effecitve May 19 through Aug. 13, 2021:

  • Social distancing limitations will be reduced from six (6) to three (3) feet wheather indoors or outdoors.

Guidelines for the fall 2021 semester will be established at a later date.

Keeping Our Buildings Clean/PPE

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Jan. 8, 2021.

In a continued effort to minimize risk and prevent the transmission of COVID-19, Facilities Management has increased cleaning and disinfecting practices. Daily cleaning includes cleaning floors, furniture, restrooms, removing trash, etc. Disinfecting involves following guidelines and protocols to disinfect surfaces such as desks, chairs, work surfaces and high touch points.

While Southeast’s Facilities Management team will support enhanced disinfecting and cleaning of university facilities, to maintain the highest level of health and safety, we encourage faculty, staff, and students to utilize the disinfecting supplies provided by Facilities Management to disinfect common surfaces (keyboards, phone, mice, desktops, reception counters, door handles, etc.) before and after use.

Buildings

  • Classrooms and auditoriums will be disinfected at least once per day and higher use rooms will be disinfected multiple times throughout the day
  • Restrooms will be cleaned daily and disinfected multiple times per day.
  • High touch points in common areas, which includes light switches, doorknobs, railings, elevator buttons, tops and sides of chairs and tables will be focused on and disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
  • HEPA filter units are installed in every classroom on the main, River Campus and Regional Campuses.

Residence Halls

  • High touchpoints in common areas will be cleaned daily Monday-Friday.
  • Restrooms in community-style residence halls will be cleaned and sanitized daily during the week.
  • Private suite-style bathrooms will not be cleaned by the University to prevent unnecessary entry into rooms.

Cleaning Office Equipment

For copiers, monitors, and keyboards, please use Sani Spritz spray (available from the University) by applying it to a lint-free cloth and gently wiping the equipment. Do not use paper towels as they will scratch. Do not spray directly on equipment as it will cause damage.

COVID-19
Last updated June 9, 2021.

Testing

Last updated June 10, 2021.

For information on access to testing visit the Keep Cape Strong website at https://www.keepcapestrong.com/covid-19-testing-facilities to review the locations offering COVID-19 testing. Members of the campus community can also contact the Campus Health Clinic at (573) 651-2270 to schedule an appointment or by contacting your health care provider for a testing referral.

Missouri residents have access to a free at home test, available through a program sponsored by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. You can learn more about this program and request a kit be sent to you by visiting the Self Collection Test Shipped to Home website at https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/community-test.php#self-collection.

For information on testing sites across the State of Missouri, offered by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, visit their Free COVID Testing website at https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/community-test.php.

Contact Tracing

Last reviewed May 18, 2021.Last updated Aug. 17 2020.

When a positive case is identified, the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center will complete the initial case review and contact tracings will be performed by both the Public Health Center and Southeast’s contact tracers.

Positive Cases

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Jan. 8, 2021

If you test positive or are a close contact of a positive case, follow the community health protocols recommended by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and the University on self-isolation and quarantine.

The length of an isolation or quarantine period is determined by the Centers for Disease Control and the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center.

Quarantine means you are a close contact of a positive case and must spend 10 days watching for symptoms to develop while limiting public and social activity.  The period always lasts 10 days.  A negative test result does not end a 10-day quarantine.

Isolation happens when you become sick, have tested positive or have been diagnosed as presumed positive and have been advised to stay away from others. Isolation ends after 10 days from symptom onset or a positive test result and a 24-hour symptom free period without the use of fever reducing medication.

Students who Test Positive

Students should notify their instructors immediately, complete the Person Under Investigation Questionnaire (PUI) and notify:

Faculty and Staff Who Test Positive

Faculty and staff should notify their supervisor and:

  • Director of Human Resources Alissa Davis / (573) 651-2081 / adavis@semo.edu

Faculty and staff should complete the Person Under Investigation Questionnaire (PUI) and the appropriate leave request form, obtained from Human Resources.

Vaccine Information

Last updated May 18, 2021.

There are many online resources for vaccinations. First and foremost, we encourage you to use the Missouri COVID-19 Vaccine Navigator website to learn more and to determine your comfort level with receiving the vaccine. This state of Missouri resource includes vaccine information and guidance to sign up for vaccine clinics in your area.

For more information, visit: covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator.

In addition, you can register for a vaccine using one the websites listed below.

Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center www.keepcapestrong.com/covid-19vaccinationinformation

Saint Francis Healthcare www.SFMC.net/vaccine

SoutheastHEALTH www.sehealth.org/patients-and-visitors/covid19-information

It is important to note that the federal government paid for the vaccine, so there should be no charge for the vaccine itself. However, some organizations that are administering the vaccine are charging administration fees.

University representatives are actively participating in Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management meetings and activities since the beginning of the pandemic and are involved with the unified response plan. Additionally, University representatives are involved with other state, regional and local response groups. While this page will be updated when appropriate, the best way to stay updated on the latest information is by visiting the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center website at cgcohealthdept.com.

Returning to School/Work
Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated April 5, 2021.

Positive COVID Test or Quarantine

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19:

  • Public Health determines the  length of necessary isolation  and provides a letter you can use for missed work/school. 
  • Employees  may return to work or students return to school when local public health official or a physician issues a release from isolation, based on current CDC guidelines.

Those who are asked to quarantine:

  • Public Health determines the length of a quarantine when someone is known to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. 

  • During this time, you should stay in your home or living quarters, limiting exposures to other persons. 
    • Do not attend public activities and do not travel.
    • Your health status should be monitored daily to determine if you require treatment. 
  • Public health officials or physician will issue a release to return to work/school based on current CDC guidelines.

In cases of isolation and quarantine, employees may be eligible for COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leaves.

Undiagnosed COVID-like Symptoms

  • Because other illnesses have symptoms similar to COVID, care should be taken to evaluate returning to work or school after recovering from them. Based on guidance from the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, if you are sick with an illness you know not be COVID-19, you should not return to work or school until you are:
    • Symptom free for at least 24 hours (one day) without the use of fever-reducing medication.
    • Free of any obvious cough, if you had one during the illness.
    • Wear a face covering when you return to regular activites.
  • If feasible and in consultation with the supervisor, employees should telework during the three-day precautionary period.
  • If symptoms occur during the precautionary period or following 24 hours of being symptom free, teleworking should cease, and the employee should seek medical attention.
    • The appropriate leave should be recorded on the employee timesheet for the days after seeking medical attention.
    • Medical documentation should be provided to Human Resources for determination as to whether the employee can return to their normal work environment at that time.

Student Recreation and Aquatic Centers

Last updated May 18, 2021.

The Student Recreation Center is operating at normal capacity and all equipment and facilities are available for use by students and members. Information on the programs and services of the Student Recreation Center can be found at semo.edu/recservices.

The Student Recreation Center and Student Aquatic Center is available to host birthday parties and other private events. Visit the Student Recreation Center reservations webpage for details on arranging an event on campus.

For more details on the program, services and facilities of the Student Recreation Center, contact (573) 651-2105 or eredinger@semo.edu.

Restrooms

Last reviewed May 18, 2021Last updated Aug. 17, 2020.

Use of restrooms should be limited based on size to ensure social distancing. Please do not congregate in bathrooms.

Wash your hands thoroughly after using the restroom.

Elevators

Last reviewed May 18, 2021Last updated July 20, 2020.

When taking an elevator:

  • Avoid touching the elevator buttons with your exposed hand/fingers by using your knuckle to select the buttons.
  • Do not lean on the walls or touch your face after using the elevator buttons.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol upon departing the elevator.

Use stairs if, and when, possible.

Drinking Fountains

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Jan. 8, 2021.

Water fountains are closed. Facilities Management is in the process of ordering hydration stations in each building.

Greek Life

Last updated May 18, 2021.

Guidelines for fall 2021 recruitment will be established and communicated at a later date.

Students interested in learning more about joining a fraternity or sorority should register Greek Life's recruitment page.

Contact Greek Life at greeklife@semo.edu or (573) 986-7301 for more information.

Campus Events and Meetings

Last updated May 18, 2021.

To help protect the University community and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our campus and the surrounding community, the following guidance should be followed when hosting meetings and events.

These guidelines apply to meetings, events and activities coordinated by a member of the University community (students, faculty and staff) or an outside organization hosting an event on campus. The guidelines apply to University sponsored meetings and events, both on- and off-campus. These guidelines do not apply to university classes. The Classroom Principles section provides information and guidelines for face-to-face instruction.

Departments and organizations hosting meetings and events should designate a coordinator who is responsible for adherence to this guidance. The coordinator can be a University student or employee, or a community member hosting a meeting or event on campus. The name of the coordinator will be recorded with the meeting or event reservation.

Guidelines

  • Observe and adhere to the maximum capacity for the gathering space. Campus Life and Event Services can provide the maximum capacity permitted with and without 3 feet social distancing.

Indoor Events

  • Organizer guidance
    • Limit the rearranging of furniture, as it has been set according to the requested specifications.
    • Check-in Procedures and Screenings
      • Hand sanitizer should be available for use upon entry.
      • Organizers should consider staggering check-in times to avoid congregation and long lines at check-in. Lines should be spaced to provide 3 feet for social distancing.
      • For larger events, participants should be allowed to register/purchase tickets in groups that are then assigned to certain locations or seats for that group which are distanced from other groups by at least 3 feet.
    • If a participant becomes ill:
      • They should be removed from the event, sent home, and encouraged to seek medical attention.
      • The area used by the sick person should be closed off and kept empty until it is cleaned and disinfected.
    • Face coverings should be available for individuals who forget to bring one.* 
  • Participant guidance
    • Participants should wear face coverings in accordance with University guidance.
      • Face coverings requirements are suspended for the summer semester, effective May 18 through Aug. 13, 2021.
      • Face coverings may be required for some summer camps, conference and University event. Please contact the camp or event administrator for details.
    • If a participant begins feeling symptoms or becomes ill, they should leave immediately and inform the organizer.
    • Participants are subject to additional or more restrictive guidelines that may be put in place by event organizers, as organizers may need to adhere to guidelines from a sanctioning or related organization (i.e., NCAA or Ohio Valley Conference regulations).

Outdoor Events

  • Organizer guidance
    • Do not rearrange tents, chairs, tables, fences, barriers or any other equipment, as it has been set according to safety requirements.
    • Check-in Procedures and Screenings
      • Hand sanitizer should be available for use upon entry.
      • Organizers should consider staggering check-in times to avoid congregation and long lines at check-in. Lines should be spaced to provide 3 feet for social distancing.
      • For larger events participants should be allowed to register/purchase tickets in groups that are then assigned to certain locations or seats for that group which are distanced from other groups by at least 3 feet.
      • Allow time in the meeting or event schedule to check-in participants.
    • If a participant becomes ill:
      • They should be removed from the event, sent home, and encouraged to seek medical attention.
      • The area used by the sick person should be closed off and kept empty until it is cleaned and disinfected.
  • Participant guidance
    • Arrive early to avoid lines and other inadvertent congregating when entering an event.
    • Do not rearrange tents, chairs, tables, fences, barriers or any other equipment, as it has been set according to safety requirements.
    • Participants should wear face coverings in accordance with University guidance:
      • Face coverings requirements are suspended for the summer semester, effective May 18 through Aug. 13, 2021.
      • Face coverings may be required for some summer campus, conferences and University events. Please contact the camp or event administrator for details.
    • Participants are subject to additional or more restrictive guidelines that may be put in place by event organizers, as organizers may need to adhere to guidelines from a sanctioning or related organization (i.e., NCAA or Ohio Valley Conference regulations).

Virtual Meetings

Student, faculty and staff groups that wish to hold meetings virtually can take advantage of several technology platforms.

  • Information Technology has Zoom licenses for offices and departments.
  • Anyone can use the free version of Zoom. Meetings must be under 40 minutes.
  • Students, faculty and staff all have access to Microsoft 365, which includes Microsoft Teams, featuring chat, video conferencing and collaboration capabilities.
  • Campus Life and Event Services developed a Virtual Student Organization Management page to help student organizations operate virtually.

External Group Events on Campus

The University is accepting reservations from external groups to use campus facilities. External groups or individuals are encouraged to contact Campus Life and Events Services to inquire about the status and guidance of in-person external events, meetings or trainings on the Southeast campus. External groups or individuals are those who are not students, employees or departments of the University.

Travel

Last updated May 18, 2021.

University Travel

Faculty, staff and students may participate in out-of-state business-related travel, in accordance with COVID-19 travel restriction for their destination. Employees are expected to adhere to face coverings and other safety guidance in place for particular cities, counties and jurisdictions available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-planner.

International Travel, Study Abroad

A decision for summer and fall 2021 will be announced later. 

Student Athletes

Last reviewed May 18, 2021. Last updated Jan. 8, 2021.

Before Arriving to Campus

Two weeks before student-athletes arrive on campus, they will be asked to do the following:

  • Avoid being around large crowds and gatherings.
  • Wear a face covering when leaving their residence.
  • Report any known COVID-19 symptoms to the Sports Medicine Staff, as well as any known exposure to contacts who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Arrival to Campus

As student-athletes arrive to campus, they will be asked to do the following:

  • Complete a daily symptom check through the Sway app.
  • Complete all necessary medical testing. (Physical, Sickle Cell testing, COVID testing).
  • Wear a face covering when they leave their residence.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Athletes must have a negative test before returning to any sport activity.
  • Athletes will be tested in accordance with NCAA testing strategies.

What to do if student-athletes develop COVID-19 symptoms or develop a fever of 100.4 or higher:

  • Contact their Athletic Trainer or the Sports Medicine Department.
  • They will be instructed to isolate in their residence until they are given further instructions.
  • Sports Medicine Department will contact Team Physicians to determine the course of action.
  • If they have any of the following symptoms, they are asked to please contact their Athletic Trainer IMMEDIATELY:
    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face
  • Their Athletic Trainer will have at least daily contact with them to check in.
  • Team Physician will determine when they can return to activities.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Department of Public Safety (DPS): (573) 651-2911
  • Campus Health Clinic: (573) 651-2270
  • SoutheastHEALTH COVID Hotline: (573) 519-4983
  • University Sports Medicine Department: (573) 986-6764
  • Emergency Management Services (EMS): 911

Employee Guidance

Last reviewed May 18, 2021Last updated July 20, 2020.

Employee Safety Guidance has been developed based on COVID-19 information and in collaboration with the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the health and safety of Southeast, all University students, faculty, staff, guests and visitors are expected to adhere to these business operations guidelines.

Questions and More Information

Introduction

Issued July 20, 2020.

Information in this plan is subject to updates and revision by the University.

Southeast Missouri State University began responding to the impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in late January 2020. Over the past six months, we’ve learned that COVID-19 is a formidable foe that has left no area of our institution untouched.

The University’s Emergency Response Team came together under the auspices of the Emergency Operations Center in early March. Through regular and ongoing meetings, the team has navigated a wide swath of decisions of enormous magnitude beginning in the spring 2020 semester and continuing this summer and into the fall. At every turn, we have consulted our internal constituencies as well as the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, and tapped its expertise, while making decisions following best practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 prompted the University to swiftly curtail spring 2020 face-to-face classes and shift coursework to remote and online forms of delivery for the second half of the spring semester. Faculty quickly pivoted coursework, residence halls were closed, events were canceled, and students were asked unexpectedly to move home in late March.

Almost simultaneously, University employees transitioned to telework, and Southeast business was conducted remotely for about three months. Subcommittees of the Emergency Response Team began exploring a myriad of issues, and starting on May 18, employees slowly transitioned back to campus through a measured and phased approach guided by individual departmental return from telework plans. Buildings reopened for public access on June 29.

Over the next several weeks, the University will be preparing to welcome students to the institution for the start of the fall 2020 semester as we return to face-to-face classes.

Students will find campus life to be a bit different as we adjust to a new normal. Face coverings are now required, and safety signage is being posted across the University. Plexiglass has been installed in some public areas, hand sanitizer is readily available in departments and offices, and students and employees are asked to use disinfectant to help keep spaces clean. Chairs are being separated or marked off in classrooms, and some classes are being moved to larger rooms in order to follow social distancing guidelines. Other courses are being shifted to alternate forms of delivery if social distancing is not possible.

Move-in will be held in a drive-through format Aug. 15-21. Events will be smaller. More grab and go options will be available in dining facilities, and many communal areas will be closed to help mitigate risks. Most importantly, students and employees will be urged to conduct Daily Symptom Checks to ensure they are free of COVID-19 symptoms.

The challenges brought on by the pandemic are like none before faced. Opening Week will look different, but the spirit that buoys these events will emerge as always as we enthusiastically welcome the class of 2024! Thanks to our faculty and staff whose dedication to our students is unrelenting, we will continue to soar. At Southeast, we are rising to the occasion, and together, with everyone’s efforts, we are safely and purposefully navigating this pandemic. Have a great fall 2020 semester! Go Redhawks!

Carlos Vargas
President

Guiding Principles

Issued July 20, 2020.

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and visitors has guided every decision. Our goal is to continue providing the quality academic experience that is the hallmark of the Southeast experience. The focus is on educating our students in a safe environment while working to minimize exposure to the virus.

To that end, we are committed to holding in-person classes and resuming student activities on our campus beginning Aug. 24. Our long-standing values of student success, excellence, access and diversity, and community remain and will continue to drive all we do as we learn to live within the parameters of the pandemic.

In early March, President Carlos Vargas activated the University’s Emergency Response Team that has been working for months under the auspices of Southeast’s Emergency Operations Center. Their work has guided every decision as the University deals with the challenges of COVID-19.

Southeast is committed to guidance provided by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, the City of Cape Girardeau, Cape Girardeau County, Cape Girardeau County Emergency Management, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s Show Me Strong plan, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To mitigate COVID-19 risks, Southeast has, among other actions:

  • Installed health safety informational signage across the institution
  • Limited face-to-face meetings and events
  • Approved classroom guidelines to mitigate risks
  • Required face coverings
  • Spaced furniture in common areas to promote social distancing
  • Implemented high-touch cleaning and sanitation
  • Made cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and masks available to departments
  • Installed hand sanitizer stations
  • Retrofitted many high-traffic areas with plexiglass for safe personal interactions

We will continue planning, updating and taking necessary actions to protect the health and safety of our University community and to ensure the continuity of our operations with intentional strategic direction as we continue navigating the COVID-19 pandemic.