Good afternoon,

We have moved another week closer to successfully completing the semester. I want to thank all of you for your diligence in taking steps to protect yourselves and others both on, and off our campus. Please continue to report cases or contacts through the form on our website. To keep you informed, I would like to address a few frequently asked questions:

  1. What is the difference between isolation and quarantine? Isolation is for someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You stay isolated away from other people. Isolation usually lasts 10 days or longer depending on recovery time. Quarantine (or self-isolation) is where you have had contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive and you are staying home away from others during the time when you wait to see whether you will get COVID-19 (14 days).
  2. Why do I have to stay in isolation longer than the person who had COVID-19? The incubation period (or the time that it takes for someone to develop COVID-19 after exposure to someone who is infected) is up to 14 days.  Quarantine can help prevent spreading the disease before someone may even know that they are sick.
  3. Where can I go to get testing? If you experience signs and symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for longer than 15 minutes) with someone who has COVID-19, call your healthcare provider or the Student Health Center (816-271-4495) for medical advice about testing. They will be able to provide directions on how to obtain a test if needed.

Local providers that may offer testing include:

The state of Missouri continues to increase free community testing opportunities. The MO Department of Health and Senior Services also provides a list of testing sites.

  1. Why should I stay at home when I am only having mild symptoms? On average, an individual may infect 2-3 people when they have COVID-19. When you have a cough or other symptoms and aren’t staying home, you may infect even more people, especially those who are at higher risk. The CDC compared low risk people who get COVID-19 with people at higher risk. A person with asthma has 1.5 times the risk of being hospitalized. Someone with diabetes has 3 times the risk of being hospitalized. Someone who is obese has 4.5 times the risk of hospitalization. The risk for death increases as we get older. It is our shared responsibility to reduce the spread and risk.

Please see the CDC website for additional FAQs.

Please continue to do all that you can to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Crystal Harris, Ph.D., R.N.
Int. Dean, College of Science and Health
Missouri Western State University
4525 Downs Dr | Agenstein Hall 134
St Joseph, MO 64507