Effective July 26, 2021

In alignment with public health recommendations, the University of Missouri–St. Louis requires all faculty, staff, students and visitors age five and older to wear a face mask when entering or occupying a physical building or facility owned, operated or managed by the university regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, face coverings are required when utilizing campus shuttles. Wearing face masks outdoors, especially in group settings, is strongly encouraged.

Exceptions include:

  • When you are alone in a private work space/office or a single-occupancy study room.
  • In your private residence, including those who live in university-owned or approved residential housing while in their private rooms or apartments. Note that face masks are required to be worn in all common areas.
  • Children under the age of five.
  • Face masks may be removed when consuming food or beverage when seated.
  • Those who require a health or disability-related accommodation or are otherwise unable to place or remove a face mask without assistance.
  • Those who require a religious exemption.

While wearing a face mask is an additional step to help slow the spread of COVID-19 Delta Variant, getting vaccinated is the safest and quickest way to protect your own health and that of your family, friends and our community.

If you have not yet done so, please join a vaccination event or schedule your appointment today. Doing so will help ensure not only the safety of yourself and others, but also the ability of our university community to begin a near-normal fall semester with fewer safety restrictions.

 

FAQs


People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or ≥2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen). Individuals who received COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization (e.g. AstraZeneca/Oxford) are also considered to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 ≥2 weeks after they have received the second dose.

There is currently no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status. The post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status will be updated as the CDC releases updated guidelines. It is likely that additional booster doses will be encouraged/required moving forward as the virus and our understanding of it changes.

UMSL continues to strongly encourage all unvaccinated, vaccine-eligible individuals to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible and to continue to follow general safety guidelines and precautions.

People who are not fully vaccinated remain at risk of contracting and transmitting the virus, while even fully vaccinated individuals may contract the Delta variant.

Unvaccinated refers to individuals of all ages, including children, that have not completed a vaccination series and waited the required time to reach full immunity. Those with partial or no vaccination protection remain at risk and should seek guidance from the CDC and their healthcare provider.

Yes. There may be additional times with individuals may required to wear a face mask regardless of vaccination status. For example:

  • Individuals must follow applicable federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including individual business and workplace policies when engaged in university business or educational programs.
  • Individuals are required to wear a face covering on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation within the United States.
  • Healthcare professionals are required to follow current CDC guidance for infection prevention and control within all UMSL healthcare and clinical settings.
  • Those engaging with youth under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible for vaccination.

Generally, individuals are not required to disclose to their supervisors, classmates or co-workers if they have been vaccinated. Though some areas – such as health services – may require this information to assist with contract tracing, decisions on the need to quarantine, etc.  Supervisors and other individuals should not ask employees or students if they have been vaccinated.

Yes. While the risk of COVID-19 infection and subsequent transmission to others is very low among those who are fully vaccinated, it is not zero. The university understands that many individuals remain concerned about the risks of COVID-19. Those who are fully vaccinated and feel more comfortable wearing a face mask in additional spaces - such as all outdoor spaces - are encouraged to do so based on their own perspectives and individual health factors. Continuing these practices in public isn't just protecting you, it’s also protecting those around you. Additionally, for many people, masking serves as part of a culture of respect for those who cannot or have not been vaccinated. For example, a parent may remain masked in order to serve as a good example for unvaccinated children.

Face shields are not sufficient alone and the CDC does not recommend using face shields or goggles as a substitute for masks, but they can always be coupled with a mask. Face shields and goggles are primarily used to protect the eyes of the person wearing it. Goggles do not cover the nose and mouth and face shields are not as effective at protecting you or the people around you from respiratory droplets. 

 

  • People with immunocompromising conditions, including those taking immunosuppressive medications (for instance drugs, such as mycophenolate and rituximab, to suppress rejection of transplanted organs or to treat rheumatologic conditions), should discuss the need for personal protective measures with their healthcare provider. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19 even if fully vaccinated.
  • UMSL will continue to offer accommodations for students and employees with unusual risks or situations related to COVID-19. Students requesting COVID-related academic accommodations should contact Disability Access Services. Employees should contact the Office of Human Resources at tara@umsl.edu.
  • Individuals may also request a religious exemption through the above contacts.

Individuals, regardless of vaccination status, should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. All employees and students will need to follow these guidelines:  

  • In order to maintain a safe and healthy environment, employees and students should not come to campus if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, if they have been in known contact with someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19.   
  • Stay home and do not come to campus or, if on campus, leave immediately if COVID-19 symptoms are experienced during the day. Employees should contact their primary health provider for guidance, which may include arranging COVID-19 testing. Students should reach out to their primary health provider or Student Health Services.
  • Additionally, if employees or students are experiencing symptoms, have tested positive or had contact with others identified as having tested positive for COVID-19, they must submit a Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis/Symptoms form (View Reporting Policy).
    • This form will be directed to the Campus Health Officer - charged with tracking suspected or confirmed cases on campus - who will follow up with each individual to discuss symptoms, diagnosis and next steps.
    • Employees are responsible for notifying their supervisor if their health status results in an absence from work while Human Resources will be responsible for ensuring that appropriate documentation is completed (e.g., FMLA, work from home arrangements, etc.).
    • The Campus Health Officer will notify instructors if a student absence is required for any medical reason – including those related to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. Though students may send a notice to instructors in order to make them aware, but note that you are not required to disclose the medical reason for your absence.
    • If an employee or student is instructed to not come to campus due to COVID-19 policies, they must not return to campus until written/email approval is provided by the Campus Health Officer.

Can I be a student-athlete and not be vaccinated?

Yes, you can be a part of the student-athlete population and not be vaccinated. Please be aware that protocols for testing, wearing masks, social distancing, quarantine or isolation periods, and limitations from many areas within the Department of Athletics will be enforced.

If I have already had COVID and recovered, why do I need to get the vaccine/why should I get one?

Fully vaccinated reduces the exposure and transmission of the COVID 19 virus to everyone you come in contact with. There are numerous other strains of the virus and having the vaccination protects yourself, teammates, coaches and the support staff within the Department of Athletics. The goal is to make athletic participation for everyone safe. That is what the vaccination will provide.

Can I live in campus housing and not be vaccinated?

Yes, an unvaccinated person can live in university housing, just be mindful that roommates may now request not to live with someone who is not vaccinated. Please confer with Campus Housing for additional information.

What benefits does a vaccinated student-athlete have on campus?

A vaccinated student-athlete will be allowed to enter the Mark Twain Facility and all other training venues without needing to check in for symptoms, nor wear a mask. Social distancing will still be required. If an entire team is fully vaccinated, they will be allowed to train in the strength and conditioning area, be able to access locker rooms, and participate in team meetings without restrictions. Please consult with your coaches to learn more of the positive outcomes of being fully vaccinated.

Will I be afforded similar opportunities if I am not vaccinated?

Not being fully vaccinated will have restrictions for you. Daily check-in for symptoms, masking, social distancing, mandatory quarantining if exposed, NCAA weekly testing will be mandated due to NCAA, institutional, county and CDC recommendations.

Can an unvaccinated student athlete simply wear a mask to utilize all our facilities.

No, as there are strict university, conference, St. Louis County and CDC guidelines that the Department of Athletics must follow. We must provide safe, healthy, clean venues for everyone. Unvaccinated people are more likely to become exposed, and we will continue to socially distance, monitor access to small spaces, create ventilation, disinfect and control access to our facilities.

How do I share my vaccination history?

Every student-athlete will need to have on file their vaccination card prior to your first day of practice or school beginning, whichever occurs first. Uploading this information will be required on ATS, which is electronic medical files. Each of you have received information via your school email (or the email used when you applied to UMSL) on how to access and upload this information. Check with your coaches if having difficulty.

 

Yes. This guidance could be reversed or updated based on new information, such as an increase in transmission rates nationally or locally or new variants against which vaccination is not as effective. 

While shifting guidance can be frustrating and sometimes confusing, it is essential that recommendations reflect both the latest scientific understanding and the current situation “on the ground.” As scientists learn more about this novel virus and how it is transmitted in different populations, and as new variants emerge that could potentially target different populations (e.g., children who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated), we must continue to ensure that our guidance reflects the most up-to-date knowledge of the current situation locally, nationally and globally.