Health, Wellness, Preparation and Prevention

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Friday, March 6, 2020, 2:15 p.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates

Colleagues —

As many Jayhawks prepare to leave town for spring break activities, I want to share information about how KU is working to assess the possible impact of COVID-19 on campus. Spring break is a great time to clear our heads of concerns before we return refreshed, and you deserve to have one less thing to worry about. 

The virus has become both a national and international concern, and we have tasked our Emergency Operations Center that serves the Lawrence and Edwards Campus to assemble a Public Health Planning Team to help the KU community prepare for COVID-19’s potential effect on our campus.

This Public Health Planning Team is also assembling smaller workgroups that will thoroughly address very broad topics, such as:

  • Student Services – including enrollment
  • Academics – including alternate content delivery
  • Human Resources – including policies on leave, absences and remote work capabilities
  • Research
  • Technology, and more

These workgroups will work quickly and collaboratively and will work to keep all of you informed.

Your Wellbeing

If you plan to travel during spring break, either domestically or internationally, please follow the personal care recommendations communicated by Watkins Health Services. Also, please register your travel plans before you leave. This step enables the university to provide tailored support if circumstances evolve.

If you travel out of the country, don’t hesitate to call or email our people before returning to campus. They can provide information about quarantine and health screening measures — whether because of where you’ve traveled, or how you’re feeling. For questions related to travel, contact our KU International Affairs Office. And, of course, anyone experiencing respiratory symptoms after travel or contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19 should stay home and call their healthcare provider for guidance. Again, Watkins provides a great summary of what to do.

It’s important to me that you stay healthy in all respects. The Public Health Planning Team is actively looking out for our collective wellbeing at KU, and spring break represents an important opportunity for each of us to individually reset our minds as well as our bodies. My hope is you take this message to heart and play and relax safely. The simple preventive and follow-up measures you take will go a long way toward helping all Jayhawks be as healthy as possible.

I hope you have a great break.


Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor