Questions about masks?

Posted by
On October 21, 2021

4 face masks

Missouri S&T recommends individuals wear facial coverings in indoor settings but does not require them except in specific health care settings. Here are some answers to frequently-asked-questions from faculty and staff regarding masks and COVID-19 precautions:

Are masks still recommended indoors on campus?

Yes. Following local public health and CDC guidance, we ask individuals whether vaccinated or not to wear masks in all indoor spaces on campus, particularly when not able to socially distance. Our requirements are replaced with an expectation that everyone remains vigilant in protecting themselves and others against COVID-19.

Can I require students or employees to wear masks?

You can ask. S&T’s mask guidance aligns with CDC guidance, which recommends mask wearing, especially in indoor spaces when social distancing is not possible. While you may ask students and employees to engage in mask wearing, you may not require it or penalize those who choose not to wear a mask.

Please note that, in accordance with CDC guidance for health care facilities, students, faculty and staff will be required to wear facial coverings in health care settings, such as Student Health Services, flu shot and COVID-19 vaccination clinics, athletic training treatment rooms, and first responder situations.

I’m concerned about COVID-19 exposure. What should I do?

We’re pleased that many students, staff and faculty on our campus have been vaccinated. We encourage all members of the S&T community to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination remains the best way to keep our campus community safe and return to the traditions we enjoy.

We also encourage you, whether vaccinated or not, to wear a mask in all indoor spaces on campus.

I have employees who are uncomfortable being on campus because masking requirements have been lifted. What do I do?

On-campus activities are in important part of our experience as a residential university, and faculty and staff presence is a valuable part of our mutual success. In general, the university expects in-person work unless the employee is experiencing COVID-related symptoms, in quarantine or isolation, or has an otherwise appropriate reason for not attending in-person (for example, a non-COVID illness; a work accommodation; a flexible work arrangement). If an employee expresses a potential need for work accommodations due to their own personal health condition, direct them to the Office of Equity and Title IX. Supervisors should not request medical documentation.

As a reminder, you may ask employees to wear masks, but you may not require it or penalize those who choose not to wear a mask. To help ease concerns, it may be helpful to rearrange your workspaces to provide room for social distancing, if possible.

How do I support a student or employee with a medical condition who is concerned about being in-person on campus?

  • Students: S&T’s Student Disability Services office is committed to supporting students who may need accommodations. In addition, the Student Well-Being website provides access to numerous resources, from counseling services to wellness consultations and disability support services. 
  • Employees: For additional information and support on work accommodations, faculty and staff should reach out to the Office of Equity and Title IX.

I have a medical condition that makes me higher risk for severe illness from severe COVID-19. What should I do?

We encourage you to get vaccinated against COVID-19, to wear a mask in all indoor spaces on campus and to continue to socially distance while in close contact with others you do not live with or interact with on a regular basis.

If you have a personal health condition that may put you at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, you may be eligible for a work accommodation under the ADA.  For additional information and support, faculty and staff should reach out to the Office of Equity and Title IX. Please note that students follow a different accommodations process and should reach out to the Student Disability Services office.

The general expectation will be that faculty and staff will continue teaching courses and working under their current arrangement (in most cases, in-person) as scheduled until their accommodation requests are processed. Requests for accommodations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

An unmasked student or employee attended class or work in-person and later found out they were infected with COVID-19. How should I move forward?

A positive case is not a reason to shut down work or learning. Instructors and supervisors will be notified their student or employee tests positive and should keep the identity of the person who tested positive confidential. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should notify their immediate supervisor and notify the chief medical officer by emailing or calling 573-341-4902. They will be instructed on next steps by a Student Health Services staff member, and their close contacts will be identified and provided with instructions.

Anyone who is exposed should follow the instructions they receive from Student Health Services or public health officials. In most cases, that will mean unvaccinated close contacts will quarantine and fully vaccinated people who are exposed will not quarantine if they show no symptoms, but they should wear a mask in public spaces and get tested 3-5 days after exposure.

What if there is confrontation or aggression over masking issues?

If masking discussions become confrontational, deescalate the situation by speaking calmly and keeping your tone and body language neutral.  

Missouri S&T University Police is dedicated to helping you support a safe learning environment. If someone in your classroom or workspace becomes aggressive or threatening, call University Police at 573-341-4300 or call 911. If someone is not exhibiting threatening behavior but their behavior is disruptive, misconduct reports can be submitted by contacting the Dean of Students office at 573-341-4209 or for students or through the Office of Human Resources for faculty and staff.

Someone who tested positive for COVID-19 is attending work or class in-person. What do I do?

If you know someone has tested positive for COVID-19 and they return to work or class before their isolation period ends, you may take that person aside and confidentially request notice of the end of their isolation. That person can then request a written release from public health. You may also report the matter by emailing

What mental health resources are available to support me?

All faculty, staff and students have access to many health care and mental health resources through the university. Students may learn more about these resources through the Student Well-Being website. Faculty and staff may access counseling services through the Employee Assistance Program.

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On October 21, 2021. Posted in Announcements, Coronavirus