At the direction of UM System President Mun Choi, working and learning remotely will continue for an indefinite period. During this time, most all employees are restricted from physically working at the university and instead will work remotely to provide continuity in university operations and student support services. Exceptions for on-campus employees – as approved by the chancellor – include limited staffing in Health, Counseling and Disability Access Services, Residential Life and Housing, IT Help Desk, Postal Services, UMSL Police, and Facilities Management.

Remote teaching and learning, which began March 16, will continue through the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Additionally, UMSL will move all summer courses to online instruction for each of our 4-, 8- and 12-week sessions. Students are encouraged to contact academic advising at 314-516-5396, as well as Student Academic Support Services / tutoring services at 314-516-5128.

University of Missouri–St. Louis officials are actively monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19 caused by a new coronavirus first identified in China, in Dec. 2019. UMSL works closely with our UM System campus partners as well as local and state public health officials, and follows guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address infectious disease and other public health concerns on campus. 

Because the situation is rapidly evolving, members of the UMSL community are encouraged to monitor the CDC, U.S. Department of State and St. Louis County Department of Public Health websites for the most up to date information.

please Review the FAQs below to stay informed and access resources for our university community

The 2019 novel coronavirus (known as COVID-19) is a coronavirus identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in China and which has now been detected in almost 70 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and now with this new virus named SARS-CoV-2.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the flu. They include fever, cough and shortness of breath.

Learn more: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary


There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick and call your health provider before visiting a hospital, ER or clinic.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask:
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about hand washing, see CDC’s Hand washing website. For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings. While the above are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses, the CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

DOWNLOAD, PRINT, POST: Preventative measures for flu and COVID-19 (PDF):

preventive measures  

Like any illness, if you are feeling sick, you should remain at home. Call ahead to a healthcare professional before visiting a hospital, ER or clinic if you develop a fever and symptoms of respiratory illness, such as cough or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area with ongoing spread. Tell your healthcare professional about your recent travel or contact. Your healthcare professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19.

UMSL students can access UMSL Health Services at 314.516.5671 or visit to schedule an appointment.

Faculty and staff members who experience symptoms should contact their primary care provider to discuss symptoms and travel history.

Read more: What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease

All university-related, non-essential international and domestic travel is suspended until July 31, including previously approved travel. This includes travel connected to university activities and study abroad/exchange programs for all faculty, staff and students, whether funded by the university, an external grant or any other source. Requests to engage in essential travel must be submitted at the dean, vice chancellor or vice provost level for review by the Office of the Provost in consultation with Human Resources.

Guideline on Student or Other Participant International Travel or Study Abroad

All UMSL students and employees are required to register their university-related domestic and international travel. Please visit the appropriate link to register: student international travel, employee international travel, or employee and student domestic travel.

Although not required, we also recommend that students and employees register their personal domestic and international travel as well. In doing so, we will better be able to contact you should a change in travel health notices affect your stay or return. Whether traveling domestically or internationally, you are encouraged to monitor conditions and weigh the risk of travel to areas where cases have been confirmed.

Anyone traveling to a foreign country should consider taking advantage of the U.S. State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service that allows U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad to receive the latest security updates from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Important Insurance Information

For individuals engaged in personal/independent international travel, the university does not require or offer health insurance options. Please note: if you are registering personal travel with the university (see above), you should not enroll in insurance through the registry form as that is only for university-related travel. 

For individuals engaged in university-related international travel, the University of Missouri System does have health insurance requirements as outlined below. 

Requirements for students:

  • GeoBlue – required
    • All students and people participating in any UM program (including research) are required to purchase GeoBlue international health insurance.
    • $37 per 30 day enrollment period
    • Enrollment link and instructions are in the Student Travel Registry
  • United Healthcare Global – required
    • Participants on all programs are responsible for enrolling themselves in UHC Global
    • Free to register
    • Instructions about enrollment in the Student Travel Registry
    • Does not cover evacuation for pandemic/epidemic related reasons

Requirements for faculty/staff:

  • GeoBlue – optional
    • Employees are not required to purchase GeoBlue international health insurance; however, they may do so if they wish
    • $37 per 30 day enrollment period
    • Enrollment link and instructions in the Faculty/Staff Travel Registry
  • United Healthcare Global – required
    • Participants on all programs are responsible for enrolling themselves in UHC Global
    • Free to register
    • Link to UM System site for further instructions about registering their travel with UHC Global and other insurance related considerations
    • Does not cover evacuation for pandemic/epidemic related reasons
    • Enrollment link and instructions in the Faculty/Staff Travel Registry

Additional Resources:

All university-sponsored events, on or off campus, are suspended until July 31. Further, no new contracts related to events are to be signed during this period. A decision on external rental events held in campus facilities will be made at a later date when we have a better understanding of local, state and national restrictions on communal activities.

Out of respect for your health as well as the health of our students, faculty and staff, individuals who may have been in contact with someone who has been infected by COVID-19 or who exhibits symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) should refrain from coming to campus. Instead, individuals should call a health provider for additional guidance, stay home and self-monitor for 14 days.

UMSL has actively communicated with our students, parents, faculty and staff about the coronavirus, including using this website as a central location to house important information and updates. We also communicate through campuswide email distributions as targeted email distributions. Additionally, UMSL has posted flyers with preventive measures for flu and COVID-19 throughout campus. 

View communications

There are many online teaching resources available:

UMSL's Keep Teaching website: provides comprehensive resources to launch online courses, Zoom and Canvas supports, as well as information on how to communicate with students and where to get help. 

UM System Quick Start Guide to Remote Teaching: provides general tips for remote teaching and instructions for common applications and tools.

UM System Teaching Tools: allows users to discover academic technology resources including Canvas class set up, lecture and presentation recording tools, assessment options and more. 

As we make the transition to remote learning, the Center for Teaching and Learning has created a Keep Learning resource website to provide you with many great tips and resources to support your education. Here are links to some of those resources:

Yes. Understanding the need for universities to adapt their procedures and policies to address the public health concerns associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security recently updated Student and Exchange Visitor Program regulations to allow F-1 and J-1 international students to continue their coursework through remote/online instruction only for the spring 2020 semester.

Therefore, as long as you continue to maintain your current enrollment, you will be able to remain in St. Louis as an UMSL student and maintain your visa status.

If you have questions or concerns about how our move to remote instruction may affect your immigration status, please contact Jason Marquart at

Currently, staff and faculty are still expected to report to work in-person. However, supervisors should begin having discussions with their employees to have plans and technologies in place should it become inadvisable or not possible to report in-person. Further guidance regarding remote work will be shared as necessary.

UMSL Information Technology can assist your academic and administrative units to prepare for this possibility ahead of time.

UMSL IT Remote Work FAQs: provides answers and instructions for frequently asked questions including how to access your desktop, email, Google drive, and other common tools remotely. 

Remote Desktop Gateway: Connect to Windows workstations remotely and securely, without a VPN client, from mostly anywhere that you have access to the Internet.

VPN: Securely connect to campus resources from an off-campus site.

UM System Remote Work/Remote Teaching FAQ: An additional resource with general information for systemwide employees. 


The Office of Human Resources has compiled a Coronavirus Q&A with answers to general questions regarding travel, pay, leave and more. In addition, HR colleagues and supervisors can refer to the HR Guidelines for Virus-Related Outbreak Concerns. Employees may require additional support and information that our current policies do not cover or accommodate. If you confront a circumstance not covered in our Q&A or policies, the HR Service Center is available to offer employment-related guidance and support.

Please reach out via phone at (573) 882-2146, toll-free at (800) 488-5288 or by email at

Or contact the UMSL Human Resources department at (314) 516-5805.

If you live in an area where Mediacom is available, please contact them at 1-855-904-2225 or visit Mediacom. Mediacom currently offers a $9.95 per month internet connection for residences without internet. To see if you qualify for Mediacom, please check your address.

If you live in an area where Charter/Spectrum is available, please contact them at 1-844-488-8395 or Charter Communications. Charter/Spectrum is currently offering free internet for 60 days for residences without internet. To see if you qualify for Charter/Spectrum, please visit Spectrum.

If you live in an area where Comcast/Internet Essentials is available, please contact them or visit Internet Essentials. They are offering free internet for two months.

Press releases and resources:

UMSL Health Services – 314-516-5671

Academic Advising – 314-516-5396

Student Academic Support Services – 314-516-5128

Student Affairs – 314-516-5211

UMSL Global – 314-516-5753

Questions regarding university-sponsored travel: Faculty: Academic Affairs – 314-516-5371, Staff: Human Resources – 314-516-5805

Human Resources and Equal Employment/Educational Opportunity – 314-516-4538

Guideline on student or other participant international travel or study abroad: CRR 210.070

Faculty and staff insurance for authorized international business travel

Human Resources Manual Virus-Related Outbreak Concerns

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) international travel alert program