Updated COVID-19 Guidelines for the New Year

Welcome to the Spring 2022 semester at MSU Texas. Our winter break provided many of us an opportunity to rest and recharge for the semester ahead.

As you begin returning to campus, we continue to monitor the spread of the Omicron variant in our community. After review of the latest projections and health safety guidelines with our COVID-19 Incident Management Team (IMT) and senior leadership, we will begin the MSU Texas Centennial year with in-person instruction as scheduled for Monday, January 10.

We know you may have questions as to what the semester ahead will look like as well as what steps to take should you become ill or miss class due to COVID-19. We hope the following question and answer section will help to ease any anxiety you may have about the latest variant. As you have demonstrated this past fall, we know working together and each doing our part that we will have a successful spring semester. Thank you for all you do to keep our campus community safe!

What can I do to mitigate the spread of the virus in our community?

Although COVID-19 vaccinations are not mandated, MSU Texas is strongly recommending that all students be vaccinated and receive the booster for COVID-19 as it remains our best protection against this variant. The vaccines are safe and effective, and will protect you and other members of the MSU Texas community. The on-campus Vinson Health Center offers students the opportunity to receive the vaccine or booster, and can be contacted at 940-397-4231 to arrange an appointment.

We strongly recommend wearing a mask when around others and indoors, especially during the first 2-3 weeks of classes and during the peak activity of this variant. The wearing of masks while in public indoor settings and frequently washing your hands has proven to be effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19. Please note that all visitors to the Vinson Health Center will be required to wear a mask.

What if I feel sick and have not been tested?

Do not attend face-to-face classes or events if you are sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, complete the secure, online COVID-19 Reporting Form for Students and seek COVID-19 testing  Completing the form will generate a notification to your instructors, so they know you will miss class. Contact your instructors for missed assignments and/or make-up work while you await the COVID-19 test results. The Vinson Health Center offers free testing and can be contacted at 940-397-4231. 

What can I expect if I have known exposure to COVID-19?

Those who have completed the primary series but are not yet eligible to be boosted, and those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 90 days, do not need to quarantine. The booster after a primary Moderna series is due at 6 months after the second shot. The booster for Pfizer is due in 5 months. The booster for the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine is due in 2 months. If you have completed a primary series and are not yet due for the booster, and you are not experiencing symptoms, you will NOT be required to quarantine following an exposure to a COVID-19 positive person. Following a known exposure, you should monitor for symptoms over the course of 5 days and quarantine if symptoms develop. If you develop symptoms, you should get tested. The Vinson Health Center offers free testing for students and can be contacted at 940-397-4231.

Unvaccinated students and students who are more than 6 months out from a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or more than 2 months out from a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, will be required to quarantine for 5 days; it is recommended students wear a mask for an additional 5 days after quarantine ends. Unvaccinated roommates of students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to quarantine.

For more information about the latest quarantine procedures used at MSU, please visit the Wichita County Public Health District Quarantine Procedures.

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Any student (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who has a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19 must complete the COVID-19 Reporting Form for Students. This secure online form is used to provide appropriate support for MSU Texas students and generate notifications to instructors. Contact your instructors for missed assignments and/or make-up work.

Self-isolation will be required for all students (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who test positive for COVID-19. Students who live in university housing will be provided with a location to complete the self-isolation period as well as daily meal service if on an MSU Texas meal plan.

Thank you for your attention to these updated health and safety protocols. With the same proud can-do Mustangs spirit, especially exhibited during the past year, we are optimistic that we will continue to navigate these challenges safely and successfully.

Dr. James Johnston
Interim President