Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs provide additional information and answers to common questions as Mississippi Valley State University bring employees back on-site. The questions below and all guidance the University provides will be updated as new guidelines and information become available.

As a supervisor, what should I do if an employee or student discloses they either tested positive for COVID-19, resides with someone who tested positive, or has been within six feet or less of someone who did?

If on campus, the employee or student should be discretely separated from others and sent home or directed to a specified quarantined area. If not on campus, the individual should be advised to stay at home. All employees or students should be asked to identify 1) any persons in our university community with whom they had contact with recently before the onset of symptoms and/or positive COVID results, 2) any areas of campus they visited during that time. As you engage the student or employee, show empathy but do not provide medical advice. Please advise the student or employee that they may contact the University Health Services for questions, including guidance on treatment and preventive measures to minimize the risk of infection to others.

After speaking to the student or employee, please contact University Health Center or Human Resources. University Health services will determine what additional precautions may be warranted, including closing an area and following up with MSDH. You should also alert Facilities Management to determine whether any area of campus must be cleaned or disinfected.

How will employees know when they need to return to work on-site?

Employees will receive communication (email and/or phone call) from their manager and/or unit leadership regarding the anticipated date of return, including a timeline for the employee to review that will prepare them for that transition.

I am a caregiver whose children attend schools and/or daycares that are closed. What guidance can the University provide?

University leaders are aware of daycare and K-12 school closures and the challenges they may present for faculty and staff who are also parenting and homeschooling children. Currently, returning to campus is only available for faculty and staff who have University leadership approval.

In the meantime, supervisors and managers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to help those who report to them successfully manage their work and personal responsibilities.

I am a caregiver of someone who has COVID-19, or I have COVID-19 symptoms myself. Do I return to my campus or workplace?

No. According to the Mississippi State Health Department and the CDC, if you are sick or are caring for a person who is sick, do not return to campus or your workplace until you have been asymptomatic for 14 days after exposure. You should consult with a medical professional before determining you are ready to return to your workplace.

Managers will work with employees who are requesting accommodations to care for themselves or a family member while determining ways to complete position responsibilities. Some employees may be permitted to continue with remote work arrangements for an extended period.

Are there daily guidelines that must be met once I return to on-site work?

Employees will be required to maintain the following daily requirements;

  • 6 feet of separation from other individuals not within the same household;, if not feasible, please notify your manager and/or supervisor.
  • Self-screen BEFORE going to work for any symptoms of possible COVID-19.
  • Use of face coverings (over the nose and mouth).
  • In-person meetings must comply with the latest governmental guidance in effect at the time of the meeting. As of the date of this document, there must be fewer than 10 people, and social distancing guidelines must be followed.  Zoom meetings should be utilized whenever possible.

Will I need to wear a face covering or mask while on campus?

Face coverings (over the nose and mouth) must be used when on campus.

Will employees be allowed to host team meals and bring in food for each other once we are back to on-site work?

Meals and luncheons provided by departments should be avoided when possible. If necessary, meals should be boxed and delivered. Disposable plastic ware or wrapped silverware must be used, and hand sanitizer must be available before and after.

Will remote work options remain available for employees once return to work is established for each unit?

Please work with your supervisor regarding specific guidance for your role.

What if an employee becomes ill due to COVID-19 once they return to on-site work?

Employees should refer to the COVID-19 Signs & Symptoms page to understand the steps to take once they become ill with COVID-19.

If ill, will employees be required to provide a doctor’s note once on-site work begins?

Employees may be asked to provide a doctor’s note, however, due to COVID-19 and the impact to the health care system, it may not be reasonably possible to obtain a doctor’s note from your health care provider. Therefore, employees should communicate any changes in their work status and their ability to perform their job duties to their manager and/or supervisor to determine needed documentation for a return to campus.

What resources are available for employees as they prepare to return on-site?

Please refer to the Training & Resources page within the Return to Work website.

What should an employee do if they suspect a co-worker of being ill and still reporting to work?

Employees who suspect an employee is ill should encourage the employee to go home as soon as possible and ask them to notify their manager and/or supervisor. Any concerns should be reported directly to your supervisor even if the employee is not in your department.

Are student employees allowed to return to on-site work?

All employees must review the return to work website and follow appropriate protocols outlined.

Who may return on-site to work?

Until further notice, the University expects that any employee who can work remotely will continue to do so until notified by unit leadership.

Employees who need to return on-site to complete their work could consider doing so if they discussed the need with their manager and secured approval. 

Will there be enhanced cleaning of buildings, offices, and workspaces to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 on campus?

Yes. Regular housekeeping practices are being enhanced by facilities management teams on each campus, including frequent cleaning and sanitization of high-touch surfaces such as door handles, railings, and elevator panels, among others.

This is a shared responsibility. Please do your part to keep your workspaces clean and to avoid sharing workspaces and/or equipment.

Will workspaces in my building and facility be closed, such as breakrooms, kitchens, or other shared facilities?

Each unit will be determining appropriate measures based on social distancing and space requirements. Please work with your supervisor to ensure that precautions are taken.

Am I required to wear a mask on campus or at my on-site work location?

Yes. Employees are expected to wear cloth face coverings (masks) while on campus. Masks must cover both your nose and mouth.

Is there mental health support opportunities for faculty and staff returning to campus?

Refer to link  for employee assistance.