Health Planning Updates - March 14, 2020

Chancellor Douglas A. Girod M.D.
Saturday, March 14, 2020, 4:51 p.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates,All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

A message from Chancellor Douglas A. Girod and Provost Barbara A. Bichelmeyer

Students, staff and faculty –

KU’s Public Health Planning Team continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19 over the weekend and is keeping track of changes in information from the World Health Organization, the Centers from Disease Control as well as directives from federal, state, and local government agencies.

These agencies are working to deliver increased testing for suspected cases, and are calling for the increased use of social distancing – such as limited gatherings, temporary closure of public facilities, quarantining and self-isolation – to help contain the spread of coronavirus. This means we all must do our part and see ourselves as an integral part of the solution. Social distancing only works if we all participate.

In order to further protect the KU community during the COVID-19 outbreak, the university is implementing new requirements for people who traveled either domestically or internationally within the past 14 days and those expected to return soon.

  1. International travelers: If you have traveled anywhere outside the United States, which includes cruises, you MUST take these steps:
  • Self-isolate for 14 days upon return to the U.S. For details, see CDC guidelines for self-isolation.
  • Call and report any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, a dry cough or shortness of breath, to a local medical provider for instructions on treatment.
  1. Domestic travelers: If you traveled and spent time in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon or Washington during the past 14 days or are there right now, you are at risk for virus exposure and MUST take the following steps:
  • Self-monitor your temperature twice daily for 14 days after your return.
  • Call and report any symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever, a dry cough or shortness of breath, to a local medical provider for instructions on treatment and self-isolation. CDC guidelines for self-isolation.
  • Avoid crowds, pregnant women, and chronically ill individuals.

Individuals who work on the KU Medical Center campuses are subject to additional post-travel conditions. Please refer to the KUMC travel policy.

Although campus remains open at this time, all KU students are strongly discouraged from returning to campus.

All employees, including student employees, who are self-isolating should contact their supervisors for guidance about telework opportunities or responsibilities. You also can refer to Human Resource Management’s Employee Information guide online. Open lines of thoughtful communication among employees, supervisors and team members will be crucial to our ability to push on through this challenge.

The Protect KU website has been revised to include information about closures of public-facing aspects of campus units. Please be sure to check the site for updates often.

As we’ve seen in just the last week alone, we are in a very fluid situation. Our recommendations and decisions may need to change as we learn more. We appreciate the thoughtful way so many have responded to these efforts to protect the health and wellbeing of the Jayhawk community. Please remember to take care of yourselves, too.


Doug and Barbara

Douglas A. Girod

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor