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 April 27, 2021

Introduction and Guiding Principles

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 Jan. 8, 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 April 16, 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
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 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

Spring 2021 Calendar

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last updated Oct. 9, 2020.

Important adjustments were made to the spring 2021 academic calendar to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 at Southeast by reducing lengthy break periods. These changes to the spring 2021 calendar were made to help continue providing a healthy and safe on campus learning environment for the entire campus community.

  • Start Jan. 25, 2021 (one week later than originally scheduled)
  • No Class Feb. 23, 2021 (added Reading Day)
  • Eliminate Spring Break (Originally Scheduled for March 15 – 19, 2021)
  • No Class March 17, 2021 (added Reading Day)
  • No Classes April 2, 2021 (Designated Holiday as originally scheduled)
  • Final Exams May 10 – May 14, 2021
  • Commencement May 15, 2021

Checklist for Students Preparing for Spring 2021
Last updated Jan. 8, 2021.

  • New, Spring Residential Students: Sign up for a move-in time. If you a new, spring students living in student housing, you will need to sign up for a time slot during move-in weekend. Instructions to select a move-in time will be sent to you in early January 2021. Returning students will not need to sign up for move-in.
  • Review Shipping and Pick Up Options through Textbook Rental for Spring 2021.
  • Read the Protect the Nest Return to Campus Plan.
  • Two weeks prior before returning to campus: 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. Students are encouraged to self-screen daily for COVID-19 symptoms (not related to allergies), and a Daily Symptom Check card is available at the Center for Student Involvement, University Center Room 204. 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 Symptom 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.

Textbook Rental

Last updated April 27, 2021

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

Spring 2021 Drop Off

Spring 2021 Textbook Rental books are due May 17, 2021 by 4 p.m. A variety of option to return textbooks are available for students. Student may return their textbook rental books at:

Textbook Rental: Located in the basement of Kent Library.

Towers: Check-in table near the front desk Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m., during the week of finals.

River Campus: At the Art Resource Center (Seminary Building), Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Thursday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. during the week of finals.

Regional Campuses: KennettSikeston, and Cape College Center and at the Poplar Bluff SEMO office (check each location’s hours in the links)

 2-After Hour Locations: The book return drop chute located at Textbook Rental’s main entrance door and the Big Red Box, located inside the lobby in front of Southeast Bookstore. Beginning the Monday of finals week through the weekend following finals giving students the ability to return textbooks when Textbook Rental is closed and over the weekend during finals and up until the deadline.  If the door drop chute is locked please come inside Textbook Rental to return your books. The drop chute is locked during business hours when Textbook Rental is open. 

If you have questions regarding your spring textbook returns, please contact Textbook Rental during regular business hours Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at (573) 651-2236 or rentabook@semo.edu.

Classroom Principles

Last updated March 10, 2021.

The Spring 2021 Face-to-Face Instructional Guidelines provides information for students regarding best practices and standards in the classroom; and instructional strategies and recommendations for faculty.  

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

Academic Advising and Faculty Office Hours

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last updated Aug. 28, 2020.

Faculty and academic advisors are excited about the new, flexible, convenient methods we have in place to support you.

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 supportnet.semo.edu.

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

Last updated Feb. 17, 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. 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 limit the selling of items but began loaning games equipment and kitchen supplies as of Feb. 15.
  • Residence hall students are limited to two guests at a time. No overnight guests are permitted. Additional details on guest limitations are provided in the Residence Handbook.
  • Room changes have been limited to occur between Feb. 1 and March 1 during the spring semester. Students interested in changing rooms should submit a request through the housing portal in their student portal.
     
  • Signage reminding students of behavioral expectations concerning social distancing, maximum capacity of common areas and face covering requirements is 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 Dearmont Hall 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 Dearmont Hall. Students in Dearmont Hall will have their meals delivered to them and will have access to other University services such as cable and Wi-Fi. 

Campus Dining

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last updated Nov. 20, 2020.

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.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance and exit of all locations.
  • Plexi health shield barriers are in place at all registers.
  • 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.

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

Health and Safety Practices
Last updated March 8, 2021.

Face Coverings

Last updated March 8, 2021.

Face coverings are highly recommended in any public space in Cape Girardeau County under guidance issued by the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center. For further information on county guidance and other COVID-19 data and information, visit cgcohealthdept.com.

Face coverings 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 semo.edu/covid.

Face coverings are required at Southeast to help prevent community COVID-19 spread in Cape Girardeau County, especially among the 20-29-year-old age group. Face coverings slow the spread of this virus both in the county and across southeast Missouri and 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.
  • When outdoors, face coverings are required only when the recommended 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • 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.

Exceptions:

  • 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 deanofstudents@semo.edu for assistance.
    • Faculty and staff with health or ADA concerns should contact Human Resources at (573) 651-2206 or humanresources@semo.edu for assistance.

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

Availability of Face Coverings:

  • Faculty will be provided clear face shields which can be worn in addition to a face covering. If a student in the classroom has an approved accommodation from disability services that includes the need to be able to see the faculty members face and lips for better visual interpretation or lip reading, only the clear shield alone or a clear face covering can be worn. Additional safety precautions will need to be put into place such as increasing distancing between the instructor and students.
  • Reusable cloth face coverings and information on proper use, removal and washing of cloth face coverings is available to students, faculty and staff in the Center for Student Involvement, University Center Room 204.
  • Departments will make face coverings available to visitors if they do not have their own.

Daily Symptom Check

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last 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:

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 March 4, 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.

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people whether you are inside or outside, and be cautious in crowded places and mass gatherings, especially when no face covering or social distancing guidelines are in place. 
  • Wear a face covering when social distancing cannot be practiced or during prolonged (more than 30 minutes) close contact with others. A face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
  • When participating in a university event, follow all guidelines in the Campus and Events section in addition to any further guidelines that are posted, announced and/or shared at the event.

Keeping Our Buildings Clean/PPE

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 Jan. 8, 2021.

Testing

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last updated Aug. 17, 2020.

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

Campus Health Clinic
Effective Aug. 24, due to safety concerns and infection control purposes, the Campus Health Clinic will require appointments for ALL visits. Call (573) 651-2270 to make an appointment. The Clinic will be prioritizing COVID-19 related appointments to help limit the spread on campus. Therefore, expect longer than normal wait times for non-emergency visits. The Clinic will continue to best accommodate the needs of the students, faculty and staff.

Contact Tracing

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 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 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 Jan. 26, 2021.

Information about the State of Missouri’s vaccine distribution phases, implementation and vaccinators is available at MOstopsCovid.com.

The Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center and SoutheastHEALTH have established waiting lists for individuals that are interested in receiving the vaccine:

Cape Girardeau County Health Center Wait List Registration

SoutheastHEALTH Wait List Registration

(NOTE: University employees who are under 65-years-old and/or do not have a condition that increases risk of severe illness, should select the “essential worker” designation when signing up.)

The Public Health Center is collaborating with other county providers on vaccine distribution. You do not need to be a Cape Girardeau County resident to register.

The state determines when vaccinations will begin for each phase. The wait list is the best way to stay informed and be able to get the vaccine when available, since the Public Health Center is coordinating vaccine distribution and administration with all providers in the county.

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 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 March 19, 2021

Face coverings will be required in all locations (courts, studios, weight rooms, climbing wall, etc), at all times within the Student Recreation Center with eight exceptions:

  • While in water in the Student Aquatic Center or when distanced on the pool deck.
  • While distanced in the locker rooms or using the shower facilities.
  • When on a distanced piece of cardiovascular equipment.
  • When shooting baskets one person per goal.
  • When rock climbing while maintaining distancing.
  • When walking/running on the track individually while maintaining distancing.
  • When in a racquetball court with the door closed (maximum occupancy 4 per court).
  • When playing one-on-one table tennis or badminton.

Students, members, and guests who cannot wear a face covering due to a medical condition are advised to not enter the Student Recreation Center for their safety.

Maximum occupancy may be limited in some spaces due to distancing guidelines.

Intramural and Club Sport play/practice will proceed as scheduled, however face coverings will be required at all times.

The eSports Arena will post and enforce the max occupancy.  Students will be required to wear face coverings the entire time they are in the Arena.

Restrooms

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

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

Greek Life

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last updated Nov. 20, 2020.

Greek Life at Southeast developed guidelines for spring 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 provided all chapters conducting events, whether those events are on campus or off campus, the Protect the Nest guidelines to follow. In addition, the national organization for each chapter provided 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, must 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 greeklife@semo.edu or (573) 986-7301 for more information.

Campus Events and Meetings

Last updated March 4, 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 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. 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.

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.

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 6 feet social distancing.

Indoor Events

  • Organizer guidance
    • 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.
      • Organizers should 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.
      • 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 6 feet.
    • An event speaker can remove their face covering if they can keep and maintain at least 12 feet of distance between themself and others.
    • 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 are required when in walkways, tunnels and other common areas or any situation where individual participants or groups cannot maintain social distance from each other.
    • Participants can remove face coverings when actively eating or drinking.
    • 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 6 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 6 feet.
      • Allow time in the meeting or event schedule to check-in participants.
    • An event speaker can remove their face covering if they can keep and maintain at least 12 feet of distance between themself and others.
    • 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
    • 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 are required when in walkways, tunnels and other common areas or any situation where individual participants or groups cannot maintain social distance from each other.
    • Participants can remove face coverings when actively eating or drinking.
    • Participant groups must maintain the recommended 6 feet social distance from other groups at all times during the event.
    • For outdoor events only, when participants are with their group in their designated area or seating, face coverings can be removed. It is strongly recommended that participants within a group wear masks and keep the recommended social distance when possible.
    • 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).

*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.
  • Campus Life and Event Services developed a Virtual Student Organization Management page to help student organizations operate virtually.

External Group Events on Campus

In support of COVID-19 mitigation efforts the University is limiting the scheduling of in-person meetings, events or trainings in University facilities by external groups, where the primary audience of those in attendance are external individuals. The Show Me Center, athletic facilities, and the River Campus will follow their own event management plans for hosting community members and are not included in this guidance. 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. Exemptions to this guidance require approval of a division executive staff member.

Travel

Last reviewed Jan. 8, 2021. Last updated Nov. 20, 2020.

University Travel within the State of Missouri (Effective July 17, 2020)

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.

International Travel, Study Abroad Spring 2021

In consultation with the Emergency Response Team, Southeast will not be offering study abroad experiences for students through the conclusion of the spring 2021 semester. Additionally, other University-related international travel will not be supported through the spring 2021 semester. Students who planned to study abroad in the spring 2021 semester may work with their advisors to reschedule their program or find suitable academic alternatives to meet degree program requirements.

A decision for summer and fall 2021 will be announced later in the spring 2021 semester. 

Student Athletes

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 Jan. 8, 2021. Last 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.