Missouri Western is committed to providing a fulfilling, safe on-campus experience. Please visit our COVID-19 website for more information.

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Coronavirus: COVID-192021-05-17T11:48:55-05:00
Fall 2021 Plans

Vaccination Information

ALL ADULTS in Missouri and Kansas are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. We encourage all students, faculty and staff to consider getting vaccinated to keep our campus safe and thriving. If you want to learn more about the safety or effectiveness of the vaccines, the State of Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccine website provides answers to many frequently asked questions. Find a vaccine provider below.

CDC VaccineFinder
Missouri COVID-19 Vaccine Navigator
Buchanan County Vaccination Locations

Report a Case

Any member of the university community receiving a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 should immediately notify us electronically using the forms below. You will be contacted with additional information.

Testing Information

BinaxNOW COVID-19 rapid result tests are available at no charge for Missouri Western students and employees who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The tests are available through the Esry Health Center on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons by appointment only. At this time, we are not able to test anyone who is not experiencing symptoms.

To make an appointment, call the Health Center at 816-271-4495. COVID-19 testing may also be available through your healthcare provider or pharmacy.

MWSU COVID-19 Case Statistics

We encourage students, faculty and staff to report any positive tests to us, whether or not you have been on campus. Missouri Western will continue to monitor the incidence of COVID-19, but because of our low on-campus population over the summer months, we will not be posting regular updates to our campus statistics. We will resume reporting statistics in this space on Monday, Aug. 16. If you have a question about the current incidence of COVID-19 on campus, please use the contact form below.

Buchanan County Dashboard
State of Missouri Dashboard
CDC COVID-19 Information

Top Things You Need to Know

The health and wellbeing of our campus community is our primary concern. In order to keep each other safe and healthy, all students, employees and visitors are expected to follow the University’s COVID-19 Guidelines, which include physical distancing, face coverings, and self monitoring for symptoms. If you feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, please do not come to campus and seek medical attention if necessary.

Physical Distancing2021-06-11T16:56:15-05:00

We have returned to normal capacities in classrooms, laboratories and other indoor spaces on Missouri Western’s campus. We strongly recommend that individuals who have not been fully vaccinated keep a minimum physical space of six feet between themselves and others whenever possible.

More information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) is available here.

Face Coverings2021-05-14T15:30:16-05:00

In accordance with current CDC guidance, our face covering policy now distinguishes between people who are fully vaccinated and those who are not. The CDC considers people “fully vaccinated” if it is at at least two weeks after receiving either a single-dose vaccine or the second dose of a 2-dose vaccine sequence.

Face coverings are required in all indoor spaces for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

Face coverings are not required for individuals who:

  • are fully vaccinated
  • are in their private work space or  are in their own residence hall room without guests
  • are eating
  • are actively engaged in a physical workout, per the protocols provided by Athletics or Recreational Services
  • have an accommodation provided for ADA reasons by the Accessibility Resource Center or Human Resources Office
  • are outdoors

The CDC has posted guidance on how to properly wear face coverings to protect yourself and others.

  • Acceptable face coverings for those who have not been fully vaccinated include disposable masks and reusable cloth masks and gaiters.  They should cover the nose and mouth and fit closely to the face. Multiple layers are more effective. Face shields have not been shown to be effective and are not an acceptable face covering.
  • Disposable masks should be discarded after daily use. 
  • It is recommended that cloth face coverings should be laundered on a daily basis. 
  • Wearers should wash their hands before putting on and taking off their masks and should avoid touching their face while wearing a face covering for maximum benefit. 
  • Lip Reading Needs: any member of the campus community needing a lip-reading accommodation for classes or job functions should contact the Accessibility Resource Center directly as soon as possible so appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Medical Exceptions: If a student who is not fully vaccinated has a medical condition requiring an exception to this policy, this should be arranged through the Accessibility Resource Center prior to returning to campus. If an employee who is not fully vaccinated has a medical condition requiring an exception to this policy, this should be arranged through Human Resources. 
  • Compliance:
    • Students who are not fully vaccinated without appropriate face coverings will be sent to a central location within each classroom building to obtain a mask.
    • Students who are non-compliant will be engaged in conversation with the faculty member to address the situation.
    • If the student does not comply, UPD may be called to remove the student.
    • Non-compliant students will face disciplinary action for violations.
    • Employees who are not fully vaccinated who do not comply with this policy will be subject to discipline.

Reusable cloth masks have been distributed to all students and employees. Disposable masks are available in each building; check signs at the building entrance to see where. 

Maintaining Good Hygiene2020-07-14T16:56:19-05:00

Handwashing – critical: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene Etiquette – critical: If you are in a private setting and not wearing a cloth face covering, please remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Alternatively, you can cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow. Throw any used tissues in the trash and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol.

Gloves: According to the CDC, gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. 

Cleaning/Disinfection – Team Effort: Physical Plant / Custodial staff will do their best to keep campus common areas, public spaces, and office areas clean based on CDC guidelines and protocols for disinfection. However, we all need to be vigilant to help keep our surroundings clean. Cleaning and disinfection requires the cooperation of everyone.   Of note, 

  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided in high traffic areas and near building entrances.
  • Cleaning supplies will be available for students and faculty to wipe down classroom areas (e.g. desk and chair surfaces) on a self-serve basis between sessions once classes begin. 
  • Departments may request additional cleaning supplies if they wish to do additional self-serve cleaning during the work day, for example to wipe down commonly used surfaces.  You can request supplies here.
  • It may be noted that the latest CDC guidance indicates that the virus is not easily transmitted via surfaces.
Self Monitoring for Symptoms2020-08-17T11:29:09-05:00

Keeping your distance:

If you feel sick, you must stay home and away from others on campus.

Taking your temperature, monitoring symptoms:

Employees and students who will be on campus must conduct symptom self-monitoring every day before reporting to work, class or any other campus activity. Employees must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or have had evaluation and clearance by a health professional in order to be on campus.

These are all matters of personal responsibility; we are not requesting or requiring any reporting or documentation of these actions.

COVID-19 symptoms:

At this time, symptoms include one or more of the following:Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever above 100.4, chills, repeated shaking with chills, runny nose or new sinus congestion, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, fatigue, new gastrointestinal symptoms, new loss of taste or smell.

CDC Symptom Checker

What if I test positive for COVID-19?2021-06-09T14:23:27-05:00

Positive cases – communication

Positive cases – isolation

  • Any member of the campus community testing positive for COVID-19 who is not in need of hospitalization should be isolated at their permanent address if at all possible.  
  • If that is not possible, several rooms will be set aside on campus for isolation.  Priority will be for residential students who do not have other housing options. Depending on the circumstances, the University may make rooms available to other members of the campus community.

Close Contact with a Positive Case

  • Those determined to be close contacts (per CDC guidance) of a confirmed COVID-19 case should quarantine for the designated time period specified by the local public health department and communicated by the contact tracer. The length of quarantine is recommended to be 14 days, but testing results may allow a reduction in the length of time. If an individual is vaccinated, they will not need to quarantine unless they have symptoms.

Compliance – Failure to comply with these protocols may result in removal from campus and potential discipline.

COVID-19 Testing/Vaccines2021-01-14T11:19:54-06:00


  • Those experiencing signs or symptoms of COVID-19 should consult with a healthcare provider about whether testing is needed and if so, direction for where to obtain a test.
  • Those determined to be close contacts (per CDC guidance) of a confirmed COVID-19 case should also be tested to the extent feasible in the local context. (See below regarding contact tracing.) If testing is not feasible for all close contacts, the CDC recommends 14-days of quarantine, mask-wearing, and self-monitoring.
  • At the current time, and in line with CDC advice to institutions of higher education, the University does not plan to mandate COVID-19 testing or antibody testing for all employees or students in order to return to campus.
  • The state of Missouri continues to increase free community testing opportunities. Those who wish to be tested should communicate with Mosaic Medical Center, the Student Health Center, or the City of St. Joseph Health Department for assistance in determining where testing may be available at the time when it is sought.

Contact Tracing

It is critically important that we identify potential COVID-19 cases on campus. Any student or employee who has been on campus and tests positive for COVID-19 must report their cases to the appropriate campus contact immediately:

Please note that employees and students should not report positive cases on behalf of others.


  • Missouri Western is working with the State of Missouri on plans to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. For information about Missouri’s vaccination plan, visit covidvaccine.mo.gov/. 
  • A current flu vaccine is recommended for all those living and working on campus who are able to receive it.  Flu shot clinics are provided on campus each fall.
When am I “fully vaccinated?”2021-05-14T11:06:30-05:00

For the purposes of Missouri Western’s physical distancing and face coverings policies, we are following the CDC’s guidance:

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

If you don’t meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

if you're not fully vaccinated, face coverings are required in all public indoor spaces
distance yourselves griffons. stay a griffon's wingspan away - 6 feet

Missouri Western State University will be guided by the best available science-based evidence and expert recommendations to make informed decisions about on-campus activities. The incidence of COVID-19 on campus and in our community, the availability of resources for responding to the illness, as well as key resources to continue providing quality education and applied learning experiences will be considerations in decisions about potential modifications to campus activities.


News & Updates

COVID-19 Questions

For any questions or concerns about coronavirus that have not been addressed on this page, please contact us using the form below.

About this Page

Missouri Western State University understands the concerns of the campus community over the COVID-19 outbreak. Our goal is to provide clear, concise and timely information to students, faculty, staff and visitors on what Missouri Western is doing to protect our community. 

Missouri Western is closely monitoring COVID-19 with information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization, as well as the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the City of St. Joseph Health Department.

The University will continue to abide by and communicate the protocols directed by the City of St. Joseph as they continue to be amended (with respect to physical distancing, limited group size, signage, cleaning, restricted access, etc.).

The information provided on this website is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered medical or legal advice. We encourage proper hygiene and health precautions, but we urge you to consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances.