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General Frequently Asked Questions

Posted March 11, 2020 by Staff

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) continues to monitor the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This respiratory illness initially contracted in Wuhan, China, has impacted thousands of people worldwide.

Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) and Spurgeon College leaders are closely monitoring the situation in order to protect the campus community. We remain committed to keeping our community informed and safe, and will continue to provide updates and resources through this site.

Below are answers to commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 situation.

What steps has MBTS and Spurgeon College taken to handle a possible case or outbreak of COVID-19 on campus?

MBTS and Spurgeon College continually reviews our action plan and updates this regularly in light of the most recent Coronavirus data and communication available from the CDC as well as the Missouri Department of Health and the Kansas City Heath Department.

If there is a case of coronavirus on campus, what steps will the university take to prevent the spread of illness?

Our current focus is on proactive monitoring and planning so that we are ready should we need to respond. We will work closely with the Kansas City Health Department and local hospitals should the need arise to ensure that we follow established best practices.

What is the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory disease caused by a new (novel) coronavirus that was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.

What are the symptoms and complications that the coronavirus could cause?

Current symptoms reported for patients with the coronavirus have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

How does the Coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are within approximately six feet of each other. The virus spreads via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes and their droplets either land in the mouths or noses of nearby people or are inhaled into their lungs. It may be possible that a person can get the virus by touching a surface that has the virus on it and touching their mouth or eyes before washing their hands. For more information, see the CDC page, How it Spreads.

Has anyone at MBTS or Spurgeon College been infected?

As of today, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at MBTS or Spurgeon College.

If I have recently traveled, should I be concerned?

As always, we will monitor recommendations from the CDC relating to travel and countries of travel. As of today, the following actions hold:


Travel Health Notices Countries Impacted Action for students / staff traveling from countries Action for students / staff traveling to countries
Level 3 Travel Health Notice: China, Iran, Italy, South Korea Stay home for 14 days from the time you left and practice social distancing. DO NOT come to campus until the 14 days have passed. For international students planning to come to campus, please email your program director before travelling. Do not visit Level 3 areas
Level 2 Travel Health Notice Japan Watch carefully for symptoms and practice good hygiene and social distancing. Consider coordinating with school for alternate study options. Students should work with faculty to develop alternate plans. Staff should work with supervisors to create alternate plans.
Level 1 Health Notice Hong Kong Watch carefully for symptoms and practice good hygiene and social distancing Students should work with faculty to develop alternate plans. Staff should work with supervisors to create alternate plans.

As this is a dynamic situation, these recommendations may change. We will follow the guidance offered by the CDC and the regional health department. You can email your questions to [email protected] as well as monitor the latest travel recommendations from the CDC at

How can I protect myself?

The following steps should be followed on a daily basis, but especially during flu season. The same applies as it relates to COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice).
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

Additional information is available from the CDC.

What if I was in close proximity of someone who may have COVID-19?

  • Take your temperature twice a day and remain alert for fever, coughs, or difficulty breathing.
  • If you develop a fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, follow the CDC recommend course of action and contact your primary care physician via telephone before going to the hospital or doctor’s office. As always, if it is a life-threatening emergency, dial 911.

If you have a question, please email: [email protected]