What is the novel coronavirus?
A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
Where did the virus come from?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, and others, such as canine and feline coronaviruses, only infect animals. It is rare that animal coronaviruses emerge to infect and then spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19. Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) are two other examples of coronaviruses that originated from animals and then spread to people.
How contagious is the virus?
It seems to spread very easily, making containment efforts difficult. The scale of an outbreak depends on how quickly and easily a virus is transmitted from person to person. The new coronavirus seems to spread very easily, especially in homes, hospitals, churches, cruise ships and other confined spaces. It is much more contagious than SARS, another coronavirus that circulated in China in 2003 and sickened about 8,000 people.
How does the virus spread?
Human coronaviruses most commonly spread from an infected person to others through:
- The air by coughing and sneezing
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
- Rarely, fecal contamination
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include:
- Shortness of breath
What do I do if I have symptoms?
If you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19, immediately contact the Panther Clinic.
How can I protect myself?
These are steps people can take to reduce their risk of getting any viral respiratory infections. These include:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces
It is also important for people to stay at home away from others if they are sick.
How does COVID-19 compare to other diseases?
The coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a relatively new contagious disease, so researchers are still learning. It spreads quickly via the respiratory droplets from infected person’s cough, sneeze, or breath. Unlike contagious diseases such as measles, which can travel up to 100 feet, these respiratory droplets fall to the ground within a few feet of their source.
Overall, the coronavirus is much less dangerous than MERS or SARS, but more severe than the seasonal flu, chickenpox, or the common cold.
What is the treatment?
There are no specific treatments for illnesses caused by human coronaviruses. Most people with common human coronavirus illness will recover on their own. However, you can do some things to relieve your symptoms, including:
- Take pain and fever medications (caution: do not give aspirin to children).
- Use a room humidifier or take a hot shower to help ease a sore throat and cough.
- If you are mildly sick, you should drink plenty of liquids, stay home and rest.
Should we wear masks?
Wearing a mask is not necessary if you aren't infected. Typical face masks are ineffective in preventing infection. The CDC only recommends face masks as a method for preventing respiratory droplet spread when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. Additionally, stocking up on masks could prevent healthcare providers from obtaining them.
Please treat anyone wearing face masks with respect. Because cultural norms around wearing masks in public during flu season vary, a mask does not inherently imply sickness or contagion danger to others.
Can I come back to campus if I self-quarantined at home during the spring break?
No. Students are advised not to come back to campus until they schedule an express checkout. This includes student workers and graduate assistants.
Do we have to leave campus if classes are moved online?
As we are moving to online classes through the end of the semester, students should vacate campus. However, we realize there are extenuating circumstances for some students and we are prepared to make accommodations on a case-by-case basis. You should contact the executive director of residential housing, Holly Binder, at (417) 873-7654.
Since we're starting online classes, will the campus be closed to everyone or can we still stay in the dorms and take classes?
Campus will still be open for business, but only for staff and faculty. Students should not be on campus if we move to online classes. However, we realize there are extenuating circumstances for some students and we are prepared to make accommodations on a case-by-case basis.
What if we don’t have a laptop or internet access? Will the University supply laptops so we can access online classes?
We will try to make accommodations on a case-by-case basis and to the best of our ability.
For students who rely on campus housing and food resources, and can't go home for financial or personal reasons, would they be able to stay on campus in their apartment or housing area?
We will make accommodations on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Holly Binder at (417) 873-7654.
Because classes are moving online, will students receive a reimbursement?
If we move classes online students will have continuous instruction, meet all learning outcomes, and receive credit. There should be no tuition reimbursements.
Are all student events are cancelled (i.e. campus organization meetings/events)?
We will send regular updates regarding event and meeting cancellations as this will be on an event-by-event basis. Please check D.Cal for continually updating information regarding cancellations or postponements.
Do my classes still count for full credit if they are moved online?
Since classes are moving online until the end of the semester, will students receive a reimbursement for room and board?
Our goal is to be fair and equitable. We will provide information on housing and meal plan reimbursements in the coming days.
Will graduation be cancelled?
Graduation is not cancelled at this point. However, this could change as the COVID-19 situation changes. We will alert students and parents if there is a change in the graduation schedule.
If we aren't able to proceed with commencement, we will still find an opportunity to honor students for their significant accomplishment.
What about seniors’ practicums or student internships?
We will meet all learning outcomes and fulfillment of graduation requirements. We will provide updated information in the coming days. Students should contact their advisor if they have additional questions.
What about classes that require face-to-face instruction like Music, Arts, Architecture, and Pre-Med?
We realize some classes cannot automatically transfer to an online environment. Faculty have been meeting and discussing various ways to adapt as the COVID-19 situation changes. We are fully prepared to ensure we meet all learning outcomes.
Will our health insurance cover coronavirus testing?
Yes. Our health insurance provider has notified us that it intends to process covered COVID- 19 testing claims without applying member cost sharing. This means the cost of any tests referred by a physician will be covered at no cost to employees under our plan. To ensure you are covered, we ask that you follow the plan for any referred testing and use an in-network provider and in-network lab which is Quest. Please contact the HR office if you have questions about testing.
Can we work from home if we have a compromised health condition or are concerned about being exposed to the virus?
We are implementing a Temporary Telecommuting Policy. This temporary policy provides a process for eligible staff to request permission to temporarily work remotely.
We are implementing the Temporary Telecommuting Policy because we understand that there may be employees that need to work from home due to child care issues, compromised immune systems, or live-in family members with compromised immune systems. Moving to a remote working model for appropriate staff as outlined in the policy will reduce the number of individuals on campus on a daily basis, mitigating health and safety risks for those who continue to work on campus.
What accommodations will the university make for those who don’t have a laptop or can’t do their work from home?
If the decision is made to ask staff to work from home, we will make every effort to make reasonable accommodations based on each individual case.
If we move classes to online, does this mean campus is closed? What does that mean for staff?
As of now, campus is open and staff should report to work as usual. If you have been traveling, we are following the Springfield-Greene County Health Department's advice and asking you to self-quarantine for 14 days.
If circumstances change, we will update everyone.
Is the National Candidate’s Reply Date still May 1?
Drury is extending our reply date and deposit refund deadline to June 1.
Are the LLC and TLC applications still due by April 15?
Drury has moved the LLC and TLC deadlines to May 15.
My high school is closed and I can’t request to have a transcript mailed. What should I do?
Drury is accepting unofficial transcripts from students in order to complete their applications to the university. A final transcript will be required prior to the start of school in August, but will not be necessary in order to admit a student.
Are you currently open to admission visitors or hosting admission events?
Unfortunately at this time, we feel it is best to suspend all campus visits and events at least through April 17, 2020. We are unable to offer tours, financial aid meetings, group visits or event days in person on our campus. However, the admission office has the capabilities to connect with students and families via online video conferencing and are happy to do so! Feel free to reach out to your admissions counselor to connect!
I forgot - who is my admissions counselor?