COVID-19 Information

See the latest updates and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, including a list of University contact information at

Protect the Nest

Download the PDF Guide


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

Guiding Principles

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.

Emergency Operations Center

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

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
Jeff Honza Assistant Director of Athletics for Strategic Communication
Dr. Doug Koch Vice Provost
Dr. Trudy Lee Vice President for University Advancement and Exectutive Director of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation
Kathy Mangels Vice President for Finance and Administration
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
Trae Mitten Assistant Dean of Students and Title IX and Civil Rights Investigator
Michelle Rees Communications Specialist
Sonia Rucker Assistant to the President for Equity and Diversity and Dean of Students
Dr. Bruce Skinner Associate Vice President for Student Life
Dr. Kendra Skinner Director of Residence Life
Dr. Kevin Timlin Executive Director of International Education and Services
Alissa Vandeven Director of Human Resources
Dr. Carlos Vargas President of Southeast Missouri State University
Tonya Wells Director of University Marketing


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 Rees University Communications
Krista Mayfield University Marketing
Dr. Brooke Clubbs Communication Studies

Guidelines for Return from Teleworking

Name Department
Beth Glaus, Chair Public Safety
Alissa Vandeven Human Resources
Jeremy Gray Emergency Management
Trae Mitten Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity
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 Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity
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
Mike Buck Student Recreation Center/Student Aquatic Center
Brent Pfeiffer Facilities Management
Dr. Kenn Stilson Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theatre and Dance
Jeremy Gray Emergency Management


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

Fall 2020 Calendar

Important adjustments were made to the fall 2020 academic calendar to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 at Southeast by reducing lengthy break periods. These changes to the fall 2020 calendar were made to help keep our community healthy. No changes have been made to the spring academic calendar at this time.

  • In-person classes begin Monday, Aug. 24
  • Classes will be held on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7. University offices will be closed.
  • Fall break eliminated; classes will be held Oct. 8-9
  • Last day of face-to-face classes: Tuesday, Nov. 24
  • Classes will continue remote/online: Nov. 30-Dec. 4
    • The online/remote learning plan and expectations will be clearly articulated in the course syllabi.
  • Online final exams: Dec. 7-11
    • The online final exam plan and expectations will be clearly articulated in the course syllabi.

Checklist for Students Preparing for Fall 2020

  • Residential Students: Sign up for a move-in time. If you are living in student housing, you will need to sign up for a time slot during move-in week. Instructions to select a move-in time will be sent to you before the end of July.
  • Pre-order textbooks through Textbook Rental, July 13-31.
  • Read the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.
  • Two weeks prior to move-in: Begin to isolate yourself from others and monitor your health.
  • Avoid all public settings where you cannot maintain 6 feet social distance.
  • Bring required supplies:
    • Face coverings
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Thermometer
    • Cleaning products to assist with sanitizing and maintaining a clean, sanitized living area
  • Update your local address, emergency contact information and phone number if you have not already done so.

To support the continued welfare, health and safety of our campus community, numerous precautions have been put into place. We will provide each student with a Daily Symptom Check card to check themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms. If you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, contact your health care provider.

All students living on or off campus should be prepared to abide by critical, public health-driven behavior around the wearing of face coverings, physical distancing, Daily Syptom Checks, hygiene/cleaning and limitations on social gatherings.

Even with the steps we have taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus, the exposure risk can never be eliminated completely. The more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

Residence Hall Move-In

  • Move-in for all residential students will take place over seven days beginning Saturday, Aug. 15, 2020. To allow for social distancing and to help the process move smoothly, students should reserve a date and time to move-in. Specific days are reserved for select groups (i.e., new students, returning students, Greeks, etc.) and can be found in the Residence Life Arrival Guide. Instructions to select a move-in time will be sent to you before the end of July.
  • New for Fall 2020: Students can schedule a 30-minute period to drop off items to their rooms during the week of Aug. 3-7. This option is being offered to help reduce the time people will need to move into their room during official move-in days. Students will not be issued keys or permitted to unpack or set up anything during the 30-minute period. Specific information about this process will be sent out soon.
  • No arrivals prior to Aug. 15. Due to summer school and camp operations and the preparations needed for the start of the semester, students will not be able to arrive on campus earlier than the beginning of the scheduled move-in process on Saturday, Aug. 15.


Due to concerns related to COVID-19, changes are being made to our traditional check-in process to ensure the safety of our students, parents, and campus staff members. A drive-thru check-in process has been developed to take place in the Show Me Center parking lot. Unfortunately, Move-In Crew volunteers will not be available to assist this year. The following schedule has been developed to allow for 6 feet social distancing and to limit the number of students checking into a building at one time.

  • August 15 – Greek, Band, Success @ Southeast Institute, approved students returning for department training
  • August 16 – Greek, Band, Success @ Southeast Institute, approved students returning for department training
  • August 17 – Returning Southeast students
  • August 18 – No move-ins
  • August 19 – New and new transfer students
  • August 20 – New and new transfer students
  • August 21 – Returning Southeast students

Opening Week

The University’s Opening Week Committee is meeting weekly to plan an engaging and memorable experience for new students arriving this fall. Events will include opportunities to:

  • Meet faculty and explore your academic department and college
  • Meet other new students
  • Attend outdoor gatherings and celebrations
  • Participate in recreational events
  • Tour campus
  • Make Your Mark at Southeast

New Student Programs will share the Opening Week schedule with new students in early August.

Textbook Rental

Textbook Rental has developed the following plan to help you safely secure textbooks:

Early Bird Textbook Pickup

  • Place an order by July 31
  • We will contact you when they are ready for pick-up.
  • Early Bird Pick-Up is Aug. 3-14 (some books may not be available).
  • Curbside delivery also available

Shipped Textbooks

  • Shipping will begin Aug. 3
  • Standard shipping charges apply
  • Rental and shipping fees will be charged to the student’s account

Textbook Pickup

You can pick up textbooks inside Textbook Rental beginning Aug. 17, and Textbook Rental will be open the weekend before classes begin. Textbook Rental will limit the number of visitors at one time, as needed, to maintain safe social distancing.

Fall Textbook Return

  • The return due date for fall textbooks will be Dec. 14, by 4 p.m.
  • Prepaid return shipping labels are available
  • Two after-hours drop off locations will be provided before students leave for Thanksgiving break
  • Textbooks returned late (Dec. 15-18) will be assessed the standard late charge.

Wintersession Textbooks

Wintersession books (if available) can be picked up prior to Thanksgiving break or shipped to the student’s home. Standard shipping charges apply.

Coursework Changes

As we return to campus for the fall, we want to create an environment that allows for you to effectively engage with faculty, friends, students, and the Southeast community. Creating an environment where you can be successful in gaining the knowledge and meeting the outcomes of a course, all while minimizing risk, is our top priority.

Due to the unique nature of each class offered, Southeast is implementing a tiered structure for deciding how to best reduce the spread of COVID-19. If the class was scheduled as a face-to-face class, we want to do what we can to provide that face-to-face interaction for the students while following health and safety guidelines.

Some classes may also be offered in a blended or mixed format with both face-to-face and online material, or fully online. Guidelines will be outlined by your instructors for each class and shared in the class syllabus. Any changes in delivery mode or scheduling will be emailed to your Southeast email address prior to the first day of classes.

Southeast is also offering HyFlex courses to provide students additional flexibility without compromising the quality of the course. HyFlex courses allow students to attend class in any of three modes:

  • Face-to-face: in-person, traditional classroom environment
  • Synchronous Online: same time as the face-to-face class, but online using video conferencing technology
  • Online: different time, different place, using multimedia technology but still following a week-by-week schedule

Classroom Principles

Changes you'll see in the classroom:

  • Seating spaced to maintain six feet of distance between seats, when possible
  • Relocate larger courses to larger classrooms, when possible
  • Mixed delivery formats
  • Some courses could move fully online
  • HyFlex@Southeast Pilot providing multiple formats in select courses for students to participate in coursework
  • Instructor area identified
  • Minimized handing out and gathering materials
  • Virtual faculty office hours available
  • Attendance tracking (for contact tracing)
  • Be patient, considerate and wait to enter and exit classrooms to avoid bottlenecks
  • Faculty wearing face coverings or face shields
  • Students wearing face coverings

Additionally, faculty and/or students are asked to:

  • Stay home if sick.
  • Review your syllabus for health/safety guidance on classroom activities (e.g., science lab, dancing or acting courses, nursing courses, music group activities).
  • Do not share objects (e.g., art supplies, books, lab equipment, computers, handheld devices) with classmates; clean and disinfect objects before and after use
  • Wipe down frequently touched surfaces before and after use

If you have been sick with COVID-19 symptoms, tested positive for COVID-19, or have been potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 you should follow CDC guidance to self-isolate or stay home. Students should notify their instructors immediately and:

Academic Advising and Faculty Office Hours

We are looking forward to meeting our new students and reconnecting with our continuing students. Faculty and academic advisors are excited about the new, flexible, convenient methods we have in place to support you this fall.

Since most faculty and advising offices do not allow for the recommended 6 feet of social distance, faculty and professional advisors will primarily continue to use remote methods to meet with students.

  • Advisors will ask students which appointment method they prefer: Zoom or phone
  • Out of concern for everyone’s health and safety, in-person advising appointments need to be arranged in advance and will require students and advisors to wear face coverings. In addition, meeting spaces with advisors now have plexiglass guards in place
  • Faculty advising and office hours will largely be virtual due to the size of the majority of our faculty offices. Faculty office hours and information on how to attend virtual office meetings are included on the syllabus
  • University email will continue to be the official means of communication between students and advisors. Please check your email each day!

Don’t hesitate to touch base with your advisor if you have questions about your schedule or degree plans. You can locate the name and contact information of your advisor at

Faculty and advisors are focused on supporting students, and using the technology is an incredible asset to do so while protecting everyone’s health.

Residence Life

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. The Resident Handbook will be updated to include COVID-19 and public health-informed guidance. This handbook will be available on Resdience Life's site in early August.

Residence Hall Living

  • Customer service desks will limit the selling of items and the loaning of games and kitchen equipment.
  • Residence hall students are limited to one guest at a time, who must be either a Southeast student or immediate family member. No overnight guests are permitted. Additional details on guest limitations will be provided in the Residence Handbook.
  • Room changes will be limited during the first four weeks of the semester. Additional details will be provided to students after they have moved into the residence halls on room change options after the first four weeks.
  • Signage reminding students of behavioral expectations concerning social distancing, maximum capacity of common areas and face covering requirements will be posted throughout the residence halls.

Residence Hall Cleaning

  • University custodial staff will conduct enhanced cleaning and sanitizing in common areas and shared spaces following CDC guidelines.
  • Residence Life staff will disinfect high-touch areas (e.g., door handles, light switches, elevator buttons, etc.) as part of evening and weekend duty rounds.
  • Sanitizing spray will be available in the common areas and shared bathroom facilities for residents to clean spaces before and after use.
  • Students should bring extra cleaning supplies for use in their rooms. The University will share with students disinfecting guidelines when they arrive on campus.

Students who need to quarantine or isolate because of COVID-19 exposure will be encouraged to return home. Students unable to return home will be permitted to remain in on-campus housing. Students who are being tested for possible COVID-19 exposure will be permitted to quarantine in their student room or in another residence hall. Students who require isolation because of a confirmed COVID-19 test will be provided on-campus housing in a single room in Dearmont Hall. Students in Dearmont Hall will have their meals delivered to them and will have access to other University services such as mail and Wi-Fi.

Campus Dining

Campus Dining will open with enhanced safety measures in place. The number of students allowed in each dining location will be limited based on space. More Grab ‘n Go options will be available to reduce wait time and congestion.

To ensure social distancing:

  • Reduced and spaced out seating has been implemented in all dining locations.
  • One-way traffic patterns will be marked at entrances and exits.
  • Floor markers will be placed six feet apart throughout the venues.
  • Dinner hours have been expanded by an hour to allow for an expanded range of time when students can eat. Dinner will now end at 9 p.m. and not the traditional 8 p.m. time.

Additional safety measures include:

  • Campus dining staff will wear face coverings. Staff will also have their temperature taken and complete a health survey prior to the start of their shift.
  • Patrons are also expected to wear face coverings when in line and checking out.
  • More individually wrapped items will be available.
  • Cups, silverware and condiments will be provided upon request.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces will take place every 30 minutes.
  • Patrons are being encouraged to use debit/credit cards in place of cash.

Health and Safety Practices

Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn while in any public space in Cape Girardeau County under an Emergency Face Covering Order issued by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday, July 13, 2020. The order remains in effect until rescinded or repealed. For details on the county’s Emergency Face Covering Order, visit and click on “Face Covering Order” and “Face Covering Order FAQ.”

Face coverings also are required at Southeast as a significant measure to help mitigate transmission of COVID-19. Southeast’s face coverings guidelines, which are subject to change, are available at

Face coverings are required at Southeast, particularly due to widespread sustained community COVID-19 spread in Cape Girardeau County, especially among the 20-29-year-old age group. Face coverings are expected to help slow the spread of this virus both in the county and across southeast Missouri and to protect the safety of Southeast students, faculty and staff, as well as visitors and community members.

More specifically at Southeast:

  • Face coverings must be worn by faculty, staff, students and visitors while in buildings unless alone in an office or room without others present, in addition to maintaining 6 feet of social distancing, if possible.
  • Students living in any residence hall or University-owned housing must wear a face covering whenever they are not in their assigned room or suite. This includes walking in common hallways, in lounges, laundry room, or other common areas.
  • Face coverings must also be worn inside University vehicles (including shuttles) if more than one individual is present in the vehicle.
  • Face coverings must be worn outdoors on University property if the recommended 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained, except when outdoors in a family unit. “Family unit” is defined as roommates, suitemates or members of the same household.
  • Individuals dining on campus must wear a face covering in service areas and dining rooms, except during eating.
  • Cloth face coverings are recommended but additional types of face coverings such as the disposable variety will suffice if a cloth face covering is not readily available.


  • If a person is not able to wear face coverings due to health or ADA concerns, then alternatives must be made available to those individuals. Affected individuals should also consult with their physicians before wearing a face covering.
    • Students with health or ADA concerns should contact the Dean of Students at (573) 651-2524 or for assistance.
    • Faculty and staff with health or ADA concerns should contact Human Resources at (573) 651-2206 or for assistance.
  • Individuals engaged in indoor or outdoor physical activity are not required to wear a face covering but are encouraged to maintain social distancing, if possible.
  • Pursuant to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children under the age of 2 should not wear face coverings.

Exceptions to this guidance, other than those listed above, must be requested by a division executive.

Availability of Face Coverings:

  • Face coverings will be made available to faculty and staff who need them. Faculty will also be provided clear face shields which can be worn in the classroom to allow for lip reading and for the easier projection of their voice. More information will be forthcoming on the distribution of face shields.
  • Two cloth reusable face coverings will be provided to students at the start of the semester. Information will be provided to all students, faculty, and staff on proper use, removal and washing of cloth face coverings.
  • Departments will make face coverings available to visitors if they do not have their own.

Daily Symptom Check

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:

Both students and employees should follow the community health protocols recommended by the University, Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and the CDC for guidance on self-isolation and quarantine.

Social Distancing

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.

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people whether you are inside or outside.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings on and off campus.
  • Wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be practiced or during prolonged close contact with others. The cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.

Keeping Our Buildings Clean/PPE

Southeast’s Facilities Management team will support enhanced cleaning of University facilities to maintain the highest level of health and safety; however, we also need your help. We are depending on each individual employee to use disinfectant wipes and other sanitation products provided by the University to clean common surfaces (keyboards, phones, mice, desktops, reception counters, door handles, etc.). In areas like classrooms, labs and other shared device areas, we ask students, faculty, and staff to wipe down work surfaces and equipment after individual use to prepare it for the next person.


  • Classrooms and auditoriums will be sanitized daily.
  • Restrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • High touch points in common areas, which includes light switches, doorknobs, railings, elevator buttons, tops and sides of chairs and tables will be cleaned daily.

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.



For more information on testing and testing sites (each may have criteria for testing):

  • Contact your medical provider
  • Campus Health Clinic: (573) 651-2270. Appointment required. Do not walk in.
  • SoutheastHEALTH’s COVID-19 nurse triage line available 24/7: (573) 519-4983
  • Saint Francis Medical Center Coronavirus Community Nurse Hotline: (573) 331-4200, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday
  • Cross Trails Medical Center: (573) 339-1196
  • AFC Urgent Care: (573) 267-5537

Contact Tracing

When a positive case is identified, contact tracings are performed by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center.

Positive Cases

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.

Public Health will monitor you, provide you a letter with isolation dates.

Students who Test Positive

Students should notify their instructors and:

Faculty and Staff Who Test Positive

Faculty and staff should notify their supervisor and:

Returing to School/Work

Positive COVID Test or Quarantine

Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been asked to quarantine:

  • Public Health advises length of necessary quarantine/isolation for missed work/school.
  • When employees may return to work or students return to school, they must:
    • Be symptom free.
    • Have no fever for three consecutive days without the use of fever-reducing medication OR physician has issued a release to return to work/school.
  • Employees may be eligible for FFCRA leave.

Undiagnosed COVID-like Symptoms

  • Based on guidance from the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center, employees and students who were once symptomatic with undiagnosed or unknown illness, did not seek medical care or COVID-19 testing, and are now well should not return to work/school until they are:
    • symptom free for three days (without the use of fever-reducing medication)
  • If feasible and in consultation with the supervisor, employees should telework during the three-day precautionary period.
  • If symptoms re-occur during the three-day precautionary period, 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.
  • Wear a face covering when you return to regular activities.

Student Recreation and Aquatic Centers

At this time, the Student Recreation Center and Student Aquatic Center are open to students, University employees and members. New memberships and daily guest passes are allowed.

Intramural Sporting events that put our participants in close proximity to one another are not being planned for the beginning of the fall semester. We continue to evaluate our Intramural programs based on the campus and community guidance related to COVID-19 mitigation.

All patrons are required to wear a face covering in the Student Recreation Center when entering or leaving the facility, or when walking to locker rooms or between exercise equipment. Additionally, in any cases where at least six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained between two or more patrons face coverings are required, even if exercising.

  • To ensure social distancing:
    • Workout equipment has been spaced out six feet or more. Some equipment and spaces may be off limits.
    • A limited number of patrons are allowed at a time in the weight room and cardio areas.
  • Cleaning practices have increased, with equipment being cleaned after each use.
  • Additional hand-sanitizer available throughout the building.
  • Water fountains are closed, but hydration stations to refill water bottles and cups are available.
  • Extra staff are dedicated to cleaning and monitoring social distancing measures.
  • Signage regarding guidelines and health information is in place throughout the building.


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. When soap and water are not available, the use of hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol is an alternative.


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

Water fountains are closed, but hydration stations to refill water bottles and cups are available.

Greek Life

Greek Life at Southeast is developing guidelines for fall recruitment in accordance with the University’s guidance for meetings and gatherings. Students interested in joining a fraternity or sorority will participate in a mix of virtual and face-to-face events as part of the recruitment process. The University is providing all chapters conducting events, whether those events are on campus or off campus, a series of guidelines to follow. In addition, the national organization for each chapter is providing their local chapters information on how to conduct their processes in a responsible way and the University will continue to share information from the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center to our students.

Among the directions being provided to chapters:

  • All events, on- and off-campus, should follow accepted social distancing expectations, including the prohibition of large gatherings and avoiding prolonged exposure between people.
  • The wearing of face coverings is required, and chapters are expected to follow the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center Emergency Public Health Order requiring the use of face coverings at off-campus events.
  • All chapters and governing councils are encouraged to provide prospective students with a virtual recruitment option. There are students, even with face coverings and with social distancing being observed, who may prefer to learn about a chapter through a virtual process and this will allow all chapters to reach the widest number of prospective members.

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

Contact Greek Life at or (573) 986-7301 for more information.

Campus Events and Meetings

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 in the 2020-2021 academic year.

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. (*This guidance does not pertain to mass gatherings.)

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.

Groups are encouraged to host meetings and events remotely. Additionally, when in-person meetings and events are held, offer participants the option to participate remotely, when possible. Technology has been upgraded in several meeting rooms to accommodate remote access. Campus Life and Events Services can provide a list of spaces equipped to host remote attendance.


  • 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 6 feet social distancing.
  • Do not rearrange 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.
    • For meetings and events with more than 25 participants, consider staggering check-in times to avoid congregation and long lines at check-in. Lines should be spaced to provide 6 feet for social distancing.
    • Participants should complete a Daily Symptom Check prior to entering the event space, and participants must wear a face covering.
    • Allow time in the meeting or event schedule to check-in participants.
    • The coordinator is responsible for maintaining a record of attendance for contact tracing. This record should include the following information for persons in attendance: name, cell phone number, email address.
  • Participant guidance
    • Bring a face covering to wear.
    • Participants should wear face coverings in accordance with University guidance.
    • Face coverings should be available for individuals who forget to bring one.*
    • 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.
    • Encourage participants to leave the meeting or event in an orderly manner to avoid congestion and bottlenecks.

*Students, employees and guests are encouraged to provide their own face coverings. Event organizers are also encouraged to prepare in advance and have a supply of face coverings available at registration. A limited supply of face coverings will be available at locations for individuals who do not have one. Those locations will be announced in the near future.

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.


Effective July 17, 2020

Pre-COVID-19 travel procedures (as outlined in the University travel policy) will resume for University travel within the state of Missouri.

Division Executives must establish an approval process for their areas for University travel outside the state of Missouri. The Provost will establish the approval process to be followed by all academic departments. Such processes will provide an opportunity for areas to review the expense and health and safety risks associated with a particular trip or out-of-state event. Employees are expected to adhere to the University’s face coverings guidance while traveling in addition to abiding by face coverings and other safety guidance in place for particular cities, counties and jurisdictions.

Student Athletes

Before Arriving to Campus

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

  • Complete a Daily Symptom Check (DSC), which will be sent out through Teamworks.
  • 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:

  • Quarantine in their residence hall room or off-campus residence for 5 days.
  • Continue to complete a DSC and begin daily temperature screening.
  • Complete all necessary medical testing. (Physical, Sickle Cell testing, COVID testing).
  • Wear a face covering when they leave their residence.
  • Practice social distancing.

After 5-day Quarantine

After the 5-day quarantine, they will be asked to do the following:

  • Continue to complete a DSC.
  • Complete a daily temperature screening; they will be given a color-coded wrist band before entering any athletic facility
    • Screening will occur on the ground level of the Holcomb Success Center.
  • Wear a face covering when they leave their residence.
  • Practice social distancing.

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

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

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