With the spring semester starting in-person as scheduled on Tuesday, Jan. 18, university leaders have shared several messages this week offering updates on COVID protocols:
- Letter from Chancellor Glenn Boyce to faculty, staff and students
- Letter from Provost Noel Wilkin to faculty and staff
- Letter from Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charlotte Pegues to students
Masks Required in Indoor Spaces on Campus
The university requires face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status. This includes public office spaces, classrooms, conference rooms, and other academic spaces like laboratories and libraries. Additionally, masks are required while traversing public spaces in residence halls, dining facilities, the Student Union, Campus Recreation, and retail spaces.
Masks are required for extracurricular activities, including athletics events, held in indoor on-campus spaces. Please help us protect our fans, students, employees, and student-athletes in the SJB Pavilion by wearing a face covering at all times except when eating or drinking. Face coverings are not required when outdoors. Visit this page for more information on current protocols.
Mask-wearing remains one of the simplest and most effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19. Research indicates that the better the mask, the better the protection. The best masks available for public use are the KN95 and KF94 masks. Please follow CDC guidelines for how to wear a mask so that masks can be as effective as possible. Choose masks that:
- have two or more layers,
- cover your nose and mouth,
- fit snugly,
- don’t have gaps, and
- have a nose wire.
CDC, MSDH Update Quarantine and Isolation Guidance
The CDC has updated its guidance for a shortened isolation period when infected and a shortened quarantine period when exposed. The MS State Department of Health (MSDH) recommends the updated guidance as well. People with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter.
If you test positive for COVID-19, feel sick or experience symptoms, stay home to avoid contact with others and do not attend school, work, meetings or events. Notify your supervisor or instructor.
All students are encouraged to have a plan in case they need to quarantine or isolate. The university provides limited quarantine and isolation space for students living on-campus in residence halls.
Have been boosted
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months
Completed the primary series of
Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted
Completed the primary series of J&J over 2 months ago and are not boosted
*If you develop symptoms, get a test and stay home.
Where to Get Tested
University-Oxford Depot: FREE COVID-19 testing is available for symptomatic or asymptomatic students, faculty and staff at the University-Oxford Depot on campus. Testing is offered six days a week.
- Monday through Friday, 3-7 p.m.
- Saturdays, noon-4 p.m.
To schedule your test:
- Text “2020” to 833-991-3009 OR click on this link: http://86borders.com/l/68415e8f
- Complete the Testing Intake Form
- You will receive a confirmation # to present at the testing site
- Show up (with your University-affiliated ID) any day, any time during testing hours that week.
University Health Center: The Health Center continues to offer COVID-19 testing on campus. Call Student Health at (662) 915-7274 or Employee Health at (662) 915-6550 to schedule a test.
Oxford Conference Center: The Mississippi State Department of Health has FREE COVID-19 testing at the Oxford Conference Center Monday through Friday. More information and available appointments can be found here.
UM Students and Employees Must Report Positive COVID-19 Tests
There are several ways to report positive COVID-19 tests:
- Students: Call Student Health at 662-915-7274
- Employees: Call Employee Health at 662-915-6550
- Fill out the UHS Self Report form, scan or take a picture of your results and upload both the form and your results to our HIPAA compliant UMBOX. Only University Health Services personnel will be able to view your documentation.
- Download the Everbridge App and select the Report Positive COVID-19 button. Then scan or take a picture of your results and upload it to our HIPAA compliant UMBOX. Only University Health Services personnel will be able to view your documentation.
During the Omicron surge over the next few weeks, please consider holding large group meetings virtually when possible, and consider postponing non-essential gatherings or modifying them to reduce the spread. Also, please consider limiting food served that might require people to remove their masks.
Zoom offers live captioning and transcription for all Zoom sessions, and this feature is available to all Zoom users at the University of Mississippi. See this page for how to enable captions and transcription at the beginning of each Zoom meeting or webinar.
How to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine
Please get vaccinated or boosted if you are eligible. Vaccination is proven to lessen the severity of the symptoms of COVID-19, and to keep more people out of the hospital. And, initial data suggest COVID-19 boosters help bolster protection against Omicron.
Vaccines are available for free for Ole Miss employees and students at the University Health Center Pharmacy weekdays 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Come get a shot and some Ole Miss swag at Pharmacy Health Services (located inside the V.B. Harrison Health Center on campus, (662) 915-5279). Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for those aged 18 and up, while Pfizer is available for anyone 12 and up. Second doses will be scheduled while receiving the first dose.
A list of local vaccine clinics is available on UM’s vaccination webpage. More information about where to get a vaccine can also be found at vaccines.gov.
C19 Ambassadors will be on campus again this semester to support the university community in following health and safety policies. A C19 Ambassador can help you find a mask, answer questions and direct you to resources if you need them. If one of our C19 Ambassadors reminds you about masks, please be respectful — they have been tasked with helping keep us healthy and safe.
Featured FAQ: What is the leave policy for employees who miss work due to COVID-19? Employees who need to take time off work to care for themselves or a family member who has contracted COVID-19 may use their family or medical leave, or they may work with their supervisor to make short-term arrangements to work from home if feasible. Faculty cannot simply switch face-to-face courses to remote or Zoom. If faculty become ill or need to care for an ill family member, please contact your chair or dean to discuss and determine how to keep the class on track. Under current state statutes and federal regulations, there is not an approval or mechanism for COVID-related emergency paid sick leave. See additional employee information on this page.
News Stories and Resources
- CDC Telebriefing on COVID-19 Update
- CDC Expands Booster Shot Eligibility and Strengthens Recommendations for 12-17 Year Olds
- CDC International Travel Requirements and Recommendations
- FDA Shortens Interval for Booster Dose of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine to Five Months
- FDA Takes Multiple Actions to Expand Use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
- State Health Officer Issues COVID-19 System of Care Order (MSDH)
- COVID-19 Press Conference: Rising cases and hospitalizations, medications outlook (MSDH video)
- UMMC pediatric experts encourage masks, vaccinations for safe in-person learning
- Omicron and Delta variants: What do we know? (UMMC)
- Majority of children hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated (UMMC)
- Omicron surge creates unprecedented staff shortages as hospitalizations rise (UMMC)
- Oxford School District COVID-19 Information
- Lafayette County School District COVID-19 Information
- MSDH reported the following information for COVID-19 cases in Mississippi (as of Jan. 10):
- 5,737 new cases, 20 new deaths and 290 long-term care facilities outbreaks.
- Mississippi Vaccination Report (as of Jan. 11):
- 3,552,083 total doses administered; 1,686,162 people receiving at least one dose; and 1,462,668 people fully vaccinated.
- Lafayette County: 69,500 Total Doses Administered; 28,844 People Fully Vaccinated, 53% of Total Population Fully Vaccinated.