Skip navigation

Update - July 20, 2021

Message from the President

Dear Southern Miss Community:

As the University continues to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 and related variants, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains our top priority. We are aware of multiple perspectives, sensitivities, and questions about health protocols for the fall semester, and we are working diligently to finalize comprehensive protocols that will best position us for a productive in-person semester.

We are collaborating closely with Mississippi’s other public universities and our state-wide Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) system office, in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) and other agencies. We anticipate soon receiving updated public health guidance regarding recommendations for university protocols, and based on this forthcoming guidance, we are poised to act as expeditiously as possible to finalize and implement any modifications that may be necessary for the fall.

We all want to be able to return to normal, in-person activities to the extent possible, without the disruption caused by unexpected changes. The best step you can take today is to get vaccinated. Information about on-campus vaccination opportunities remains available on the Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center website, and information about off-campus vaccination opportunities remains available on the MSDH website.

General information about the University’s response is available on the COVID-19 website, with specific web pages dedicated to resources for students and families as well as faculty and staff. These web pages will continue to be updated as fall protocols are finalized.

We anticipate the pandemic will continue to evolve throughout the late summer and into the fall, and we will continue to monitor all developments closely to update protocols in accordance with future public health guidance. Even though the challenges of the pandemic continue to be fluid, I want to state again that the best step you can take today is to get vaccinated.

Thank you for your ongoing care and concern for each other as we continue to navigate the pandemic, together.

Sincerely,

Rodney D. Bennett, President

Update - May 17, 2021

COVID-19 Response Status

  • The University's COVID-19 Response Status has moved to Blue, which means the University has issued health advisories and modified select procedures.

Updated COVID-19 Protocols, Effective Monday, May 17

  • In accordance with evolving public health guidelines and the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, The University of Southern Mississippi’s COVID-19 protocols have been updated as follows.
    • All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to follow CDC and Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines.
    • Face coverings are required for all in-person academic classes and required in-person class activities.
    • Face coverings are recommended but not required outside of official academic classes and class activities, including at public events such as performances, large group events, and orientation.
    • Face coverings are recommended but not required in individual office and office settings in which employees do not share space with others.
    • Face coverings are recommended but not required in public spaces such as the libraries, lobbies, and dining spaces.
    • Attendance at events in indoor and outdoor facilities must follow all current state and local guidelines.
    • Faculty and staff should consult with their Dean and/or Vice President as appropriate to determine requirements for special events.
  • These updated protocols remain subject to change, pending future public health guidance.

Update - March 31, 2021

Take Flight: Fall 2021

  Prevention

  • Get Your Vaccine
  • Wear Your Face Covering in Required Settings
  • Keep Your Distance
  • Wash Your Hands
  • Monitor Your Health

CDC Prevention Guidelines

USM Health Protocols

CDC Protection Guidelines

USM Health Protocols

Previous Updates Still in Effect

  • In accordance with evolving public health guidelines and the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, The University of Southern Mississippi’s COVID-19 protocols will be updated as follows, effective Monday, May 17, 2021.
    • All students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to follow CDC and Mississippi State Department of Health guidelines.
    • Face coverings will continue to be required for all in-person academic classes and required in-person class activities.
    • Face coverings will be recommended but not required outside of official academic classes and class activities, including at public events such as performances, large group events, and orientation.
    • Face coverings will be recommended but not required in individual office and office settings in which employees do not share space with others.
    • Face coverings will be recommended but not required in public spaces such as the libraries, lobbies, and dining spaces.
    • Attendance at events in indoor and outdoor facilities will be required to follow all current state and local guidelines.
    • Faculty and staff should consult with their Dean and/or Vice President as appropriate to determine requirements for special events.
  • These updated protocols remain subject to change, pending future public health guidance.
  • University of Southern Mississippi faculty have launched a free, online public course that assists in understanding COVID-19 and related pandemic topics. Each module is presented in a video format by a USM faculty member whose expertise and academic focus is on the given topic. Access the course.
  • Eligible students may now apply for the laptop loan program, which is made possible through the generosity of the USM Foundation as well as an allocation from CARES funding.
    • Loaner laptops are available on both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses and must be picked up in person at the respective campus.
    • Students must be enrolled full-time and have a valid USM ID. Priority will be given to students who have no technology available to them off campus.
    • To request a laptop, log in to the online application with your USM SOAR credentials and complete the application.
    • Laptops must be returned at the end of the current semester.
  • Beginning July 1, 2020, University-sponsored domestic and international travel may be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require approval by each division’s executive officer.
  • For Students
    • For immediate relief in managing stressors, try Eagle Cares.
    • Student Counseling Services remains available to assist students who may be feeling anxiety related to COVID-19 or social isolation.
      • Counselors are available remotely for students who are currently residing in Mississippi.
      • Counselors will assist students who are currently residing out-of-state with finding resources where they are located.
      • Students may call 601.266.4829 for assistance during normal business hours.
      • For after-hours and weekend emergencies, call 601.606.4357.
      • More information is available on the Student Counseling Services website.
  • For Benefit-Eligible Employees
    • USM’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), GuidanceResources, has a Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources toolkit available online. Access instructions for benefit-eligible employees and their dependents are available on the Human Resources website.
    • Remember, benefit eligible employees and members of their household have telephonic access to talk to a counselor, financial advisor or legal advisor: 800.272.7255.