Seven students returning to live in the residence halls at Missouri Southern State University have tested positive for COVID-19, the university announced on Tuesday.

Testing was conducted by Missouri Southern’s Willcoxon Health Center as students moved into the residence halls.

As of Tuesday, 611 students had been tested, with 7 positives, said Julie Stamps, director of the health center. Testing is ongoing for late arrivals to campus.

All positive COVID-19 tests are reported to the Joplin Health Department by the MSSU Willcoxon Health Center. The offices will work together to notify other health officials as well as impacted faculty, staff, and students based on contact tracing while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, FERPA and other applicable laws and regulations.

Rooms have been made available in campus housing for students who need to be in isolation following a positive test, or in quarantine following close contact exposure. Faculty members and advisors are available to work with students impacted in order to continue their academic progress.

Missouri Southern continues to follow policies enacted to help minimize the spread of the virus on campus, including the use of face masks or coverings.

“We’re constantly reminding our students to wear masks, practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings,” Stamps said.

For more information on how Missouri Southern is working to protect students, faculty and staff from exposure, visit or email