Questions and Answers about Show Me Renewal — Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated May 18, 2020, 4:30 p.m.

Returning to university campus and facilities

  • At this point, everyone who can continue working from home should continue to do so until further notice from supervisors.
  • Access will be allowed for some who perform mission-critical research that can only be completed on campus, as well as other necessary duties.
  • Faculty and staff who need to return to campus to complete their work may consider doing so as long as they discuss the need with their manager/supervisor and secure approval by using this form. All requests must be approved by leaders within your unit or on your campus.
  • Those with pre-existing conditions or known risk factors should work with their supervisors to determine an individual plan for how work can be completed.

The target date for this first wave of individuals to begin returning is May 20. Other waves will return throughout the summer, with the number of staff and faculty on campus steadily growing to capacity in preparation for in-person operations to resume in Fall 2020, unless the guidelines from health officials require us to change course.

At this point, we don’t have a definitive number. We are asking employees to apply online for permission to begin working again on campus. Ultimately, each request will be evaluated by a team that includes academic, facility, research and health leaders, who will assess locations and social distancing considerations. Decisions and return dates will be provided as quickly as possible.

  • No. Employees who have already been deemed essential, on-site employees by the university will maintain their status and do not need to seek approval under this plan.
  • For additional information on which groups of workers may be considered essential, refer to HR-700.

All units must be able to accommodate safety standards and risk mitigation strategies as outlined in the Research Restart document.

Yes, you will need to use your ID card for card access to your building. If you do not have card access, please contact your supervisor and they will ask your building coordinator to add you to the electronic card access database.

While this phase of Show Me Renewal is primarily focused on resuming critical research, the university will continue to evaluate the public health conditions in Columbia and will work toward returning more employees to the workplace as the situation allows.

The university will repopulate the campus in phases and may allow for flexible schedules. Contact your supervisor to discuss your options.

  • University leaders are aware of the daycare and K-12 school closures and the challenges they may present for faculty and staff who are also parenting and homeschooling children. Supervisors and employees will need to review options for how work can be completed given individual circumstances.
  • Supervisors and managers are encouraged to be as flexible as possible to help employees successfully manage their work and personal responsibilities.
  • Please refer to HR-700 policy provisions for more information.

Graduate students will be among the researchers returning in this first wave. Other student workers may also be engaged for telework and in-person duties over the summer, following our guidelines for social distancing.

Safety and Well-Being

  • Maintain at least 6 feet of separation at all times (social distancing). Following Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, use face coverings when it is not possible to keep a 6-foot distance. (CDC guidelines recommend wearing cloth face coverings at other times, and individuals may choose to do so.)
  • Take your temperature in the morning before you leave for work, or as you arrive. Log those results and report any temperature over 100.4º F (38.0 º C) to your supervisor.
  • Hand hygiene – Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
  • Individuals should take appropriate cleaning measures of shared surfaces in a university facility such as laboratories, workshops, studios and residence hall rooms, etc.
  • If you do not feel healthy, please stay home.
  • For more details, refer to the Return to Campus Precautions page.

People should travel to the sites with one person per vehicle to maintain social distancing. If that is not possible (for example animal movements or treatments that require two or more people) all people involved should wear a cloth face covering and certify they have not exhibited symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 according to CDC guidelines. Contact with the public will be avoided as much as is practicable, and communication will occur primarily through electronic methods.

In-person meetings are discouraged. If a meeting must be in-person, it must be in a room that permits attendees to be 6 feet away from each other.

Breakrooms, lunch rooms and gathering areas are closed for social gathering. They may still be utilized for food and drink preparation and consumption (one at a time, or multiple people as long as 6-foot social distancing can be maintained).

  • Visitors who are not directly related to the individual’s or unit’s work are not allowed.
  • Research conducted face-to-face involving human subjects must balance benefits of research against the specific and unique vulnerabilities of at-risk populations.
  • For more guidance, please refer to UM System visitor policies.

  • Following Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, use face coverings when it is not possible to keep a 6-foot distance. (CDC guidelines recommend wearing cloth face coverings at other times, and individuals may choose to do so.)

Take your temperature in the morning before you leave for work, or as you arrive. Log those results and report any temperature over 100.4° F (38.0° C) to your supervisor.

  • At this time, the university does not intend to test employees for COVID-19 as a requirement to work on campus. The president and interim chancellor has appointed a team of experts to continue to survey latest information on testing and tracing to develop new ideas and consider and evaluate potential plans.
  • If you have questions about whether you should be tested for COVID-19, consult with your health care provider. If it is determined by your provider that you should be tested, your clinician will recommend a testing facility or may refer you to a list of testing facilities across the state maintained by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

We ask that the employee contact a health care provider and follow their recommendations, and the process for the case to be reported to public health officials. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they must stay home and self-isolate. We ask they cooperate with contact tracing by public health officials and follow the most current CDC guidance regarding return to work.

  • All employees — regardless of eligibility for other benefits — have access to free, confidential help for personal or professional challenges. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides counseling services and occupational stress programs. You may also choose to connect with a provider from the comfort of home with the behavioral health services available through university insurance.
  • Sanvello is a free app subscription available for any student, faculty or staff member with a university email address. The app has tools to create a mental health roadmap and track the progress of a user’s journey.
  • The university has online workshops on mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Check out for various other ways to stay connected during this time.
  • The UM System’s webpage on mindful practices includes information on meditation and relaxation programs, yoga and mindful eating.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has helpful suggestions for coping during the outbreak.
  • You may also check your health care benefits.

You should always report unsafe working conditions to your supervisor.

Speak with your supervisor about what PPE is necessary for the work that you do. The university will be providing hand sanitizer. Personal-sized bottles will be distributed to each employee; large bottles will be located throughout each building.