Covid: Frequently Asked Questions

The University is proactively monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak & pandemic. Stay updated with the latest information and what’s being done to protect our SNU community. Here are the answers to many FAQ’s:


What is a coronavirus?
There are seven known coronaviruses that affect humans. They’re named coronavirus because of the crown-like spikes on their surface. The first was identified in the 1960s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The newest coronavirus is known as the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?
Patients currently being treated for the novel coronavirus report mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Symptoms may appear as soon as two days after exposure or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.

How do I prevent novel coronavirus?
You can limit your likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus with the same methods you would use to avoid the flu. 

+ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
+ Wash your hands often. Use soap and water and wash for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer. 
+ Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. 
+ Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash. 
+ Disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces.

How does the virus spread?
The novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in a large seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. It now seems to be spreading from person-to-person, in much the same way as the flu or other respiratory illnesses spread, via respiratory droplets produced when a person coughs or sneezes. The CDC believes it is spread between people who are in close contact.

What screenings are being done by the university?
The Student Health Center is taking calls from individuals who have concerns about COVID-19. Any individual who feels as though they have concerning symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), have been around someone being investigated for COVID-19, or have general questions can call at 405.491.6605 during normal business hours.

What is my personal health responsibility?
The following outlines the expectations of all SNU students and employees while on campus. This is not only to protect your health but the health of our entire community. Your continued support of these guidelines is appreciated.

+ All SNU students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and visitors must wear a face covering (mask) upon entering any building.
+ All employees and students are asked to take special precautions to avoid exposure for at least two weeks prior to the start of the fall semester.
+ Sick employees and students must stay home.
+ Self-screening should be performed each morning before arriving on campus.
+ Temperature must be less than 100.4⁰ F/38⁰ C. See self-screening checklist.
+ Maintain social distancing guidelines. You are also expected to wear a face-covering if working near or are encountering others. If you do not have a face covering, please contact your supervisor and one will be provided.
+ Remove unnecessary items in your personal work or living space to create clean counter spaces and support cleaning efforts on common surfaces. If additional cleaning is needed in an office space, please notify your supervisor.
+ Limit elevators to single occupancy when possible.

I’m sick. Should I be tested for coronavirus?
If you develop a fever, cough and/or shortness of breath and believe you have been exposed to COVID-19:

+ Before going to the Student Health Center, to a doctor’s office, or to an emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your symptoms. Your healthcare professional will determine if you need to be tested.
+ Stay home unless you are seeking medical care. Avoid contact with others.
+ Wear a mask if you need to leave your home when sick.

What if I feel like I’ve been exposed to the virus?
Traditional Undergraduate Studies students who feel as though they have been exposed to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), are asked to stay home or isolate in their residence hall room and call the Student Health Center (405.491.6605) during normal business hours, or your primary health care provider. A brief screening will be performed by a nurse over the telephone and further instructions on care will be given at that time. There is also an Oklahoma hotline through the Oklahoma State Department of Health for any individual with questions: 1-877-715-8336. If you are having a medical emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room and communicate as you are able with the Student Health Center or with Human Resources so that the University is aware and can provide needed support.

Adult Professional and Graduate Studies students who think they may have been in contact with someone who has or who is suspected of having the novel coronavirus and develop a fever with a cough or shortness of breath within 14 days of contact should call their physician immediately to discuss your history.

What does it mean to self-isolate?
Based on the SHC screening, and in coordination with local and state health officials, individuals may be asked to self-monitor their health or be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days at home or another off-campus location. If you are asked to self-isolate you should stay home. Follow these guidelines for self-isolation:

Report any symptoms of COVID-19 immediately to University Health Center, Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you have a health emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room. Stay off campus and stay home. Do not go to work, or any social or religious gatherings until 14 days after your departure from the country in question. Please communicate as you are able with the Student Health Center or with Human Resources so that the University is aware and can provide needed support.

What happens when there is a positive COVID-19 case on campus?
We follow the guidance of national and local health officials in our response to a positive diagnosis on campus. If we receive confirmation that an SNU student or employee has had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, there are important measures that will be promptly taken including quarantine or isolation, contact tracing, communication and facility disinfection. When a member of the SNU community self-reports they are symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19, please contact the Student Health Center at 405.491.6605 immediately.

How were the guidelines determined for the campus reopening plan?
The guidelines were developed based on the most current information from the CDC along with local and state health officials.

Are temperature checks part of the plan?
We are asking all members of the campus community to self-screen each morning before arriving on campus. As part of that checklist, campus community members are asked to take their temperature to ensure it is below 100.4.


Who can I talk to if I’m feeling anxious about COVID-19 and all the new requirements and realities I am now facing as a student? 
Renew Counseling Center is here to provide help and hope. We know these are unsure times and it is a lot for our students to manage. Individual counseling is available for current SNU students for most personal and mental health concerns including coping, stress, anxiety, depression, and more. You can find more details at

Who can I contact if I have a disability and am impacted by COVID 19 and need accommodations or if I need to update my accommodations? 
The office of Disability Services provides and coordinates support services that enable students with disabilities to receive equal access to all aspects of university life. We know that the Covid-19 outbreak and pandemic creates the potential for requesting accommodations for the first time or for updating with new accommodations. If you need accommodations or additional support due to disability, please go to for details on how to register for Disability Services at SNU. 


What cleaning measures are in place across campus?
SNU Facilities Management provides touch-point cleaning and disinfecting daily in campus buildings and multiple times daily within areas of increased-use or higher risk. SNU maintains alcohol-based hand sanitizer and replacement wall-mount dispensers to refill the currently installed hand sanitizers located throughout campus. Facilities Management (FM) has also purchased electrostatic and vapor disinfection equipment for applying preventive disinfectant coverage to targeted areas. If an emergency response is required, FM has several third-party professionals ready and available to treat or remediate campus locations.

What measures is the university taking to keep dorm residents safe?
The student housing plan includes reducing or rearranging shared spaces, increased frequency of cleaning, acquisition of specialized disinfecting equipment, and dedicated rooms reserved for student quarantine, if necessary.

What will dining services look like this fall?
SNU Dining has reduced the capacity for seating to allow for social distancing within SNU dining facilities. Take-out and delivery options will be available.

How will the library be kept safe and operational?
Furniture in public spaces will be arranged to ensure appropriate social distancing and barriers or shields will be erected to allow more than one user at library tables. When possible, library services will continue to include options for users who are unable to come into the library. 

Is the University providing health and safety materials for the campus?
+ Two washable cloth face coverings are on order for all SNU full-time employees and for Traditional Undergraduate Studies students and Adjunct faculty. One washable cloth face covering is in order for all Professional and Graduate Studies students and Adjunct faculty.
+ Stands for dispensing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, and refills are available across campus in public spaces, restrooms, and classrooms.

Are masks required on campus?  
Yes. All SNU students, staff, faculty, contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors must wear a face covering (mask) upon entering any campus building. We know that COVID-19 can be spread when people are asymptomatic, which means they don’t yet know they are sick. Wearing face coverings has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others.

Why are masks being required on campus?
This is in line with CDC guidelines, as we know many people who are COVID-19 positive are asymptomatic. This measure is meant to protect one another, not just the individual wearing the mask.

Who is required to wear a face covering?
The requirement to wear face coverings applies to all employees (students, staff, faculty, temporary workers) contractors, vendors, suppliers and visitors on campus.

Covid-19 can be spread when people are asymptomatic, which means they do not know they are sick yet. Wearing face coverings has been shown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others. Face coverings do not replace the need to maintain social distancing, frequent handwashing, and rigorous cleaning and disinfecting routines.

I have health-related concerns with wearing a face covering. Am I still required to wear one?
If you are a staff or faculty member and have a health-related concern with wearing a face covering for work, please contact Human Resources at 405.491.6333. If you are a student with health-related concerns regarding wearing a face covering for class, please contact the Center for Student Success.

When and where am I required to wear a face-covering?
All members of the SNU community are required to wear face coverings when outside of their private office or living space and when physical social distancing measures are hard to maintain. Wearing a face covering in public settings helps protect others and prevent the spread of the virus and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Examples of public settings include areas outside of your enclosed private office such as:

+ Entering/Exiting buildings
+ Classrooms
+ Shared workspaces unless other social distancing measures are in play
+ Shared work vehicles
+ Common meeting space, break rooms or lounge areas
+ Dining facilities, except when eating
+ Public Restrooms
+ Student Union and public event spaces
+ Elevators and hallways
+ Outdoors if safe social distancing is not possible.

You do not need to wear a face-covering in your private office if it is enclosed unless another individual enters your office. In this case, all individuals should wear face coverings.

What else should I do to protect myself at work?
Whenever possible, stay at least 6 feet from other people. Wash your hands often, try not to touch your face, and frequently disinfect work areas and high-touch items in your workplace with disinfecting cleansers. Do not share work materials or equipment, especially equipment used near the face. Monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms and stay at home if you experience any symptoms or otherwise feel ill.

Why should I wear a face covering?
Many people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises Americans to wear cloth face coverings as a possible way to protect one another from infection. It is important to note that face coverings are not a substitute for other prevention efforts, such as hand-washing and social distancing. Continue to stay 6 feet from others whenever possible and clean hands frequently. You should carry at least two face coverings with you daily to ensure that you have a replacement if one becomes unusable while you are on campus.

How often do you need to wash your cloth face covering?
If you are using a cloth face covering, the CDC recommends face coverings should be washed after each use.

How long are we required to wear face coverings?
This requirement is in place until further notice and is subject to change based on guidance from the CDC and federal, state, and local governmental health agencies.

Will I be required to go home if I report to work without a face covering?
Yes; however, your office may have extra supplies that will allow you to obtain a mask should you forget to bring one with you to work. You will be required to wear one in order to enter the workplace where you will encounter other employees in spaces such as hallways, elevators and stairways.

I have a face covering that covers my entire face. May I wear that to work?
No. With the exception of religious practice, a covering that hides or obscures the wearer’s eyes or forehead is not an acceptable face covering.

If I see someone on campus who is not abiding by these guidelines, should I confront the individual and explain the requirement? Should I contact SNU Campus Safety?
If you come into contact with any individual who is not wearing a face covering and should be under these guidelines, you may offer educational advice to the individual in a polite and non-aggressive manner. Please note the individual may have a medical condition preventing them from wearing face coverings. Please also note this is a policy matter and should be referred to the appropriate office for remedy.

Appropriate Office Contacts:
Non-compliance by a Student: Student Life; 405-491-6336
Non-compliance by a Faculty member: Office of the Provost; 405-491-6600
Non-compliance by a Staff member: Human Resources; 405-491-6333
Non-compliance by a Vendor: University Operations; 405-491-6309
Non-compliance by a Guest or Visitor: Contact your local administrator or supervisor

Additional Resources
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
World Health Organization