New Partnership to Assist with Updated Protocol for Accessing KU Buildings

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Thursday, June 4, 2020, 8:47 a.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates,KU Graduate Teaching Assistants,KU Graduate Research Assistants,KU Graduate Assistants

Helping us maintain a healthy community as we reopen campus begins with a daily review of your own health status.




Our ongoing efforts to restore campus require flexibility and agility to adapt to changing conditions. Successfully restarting our on-campus research, academic and work activities will also take the cooperation of the entire KU community. Because our highest priority is the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff, we continue to adjust our protocols based on the latest guidance from local, state and federal health officials.

Today I am announcing both a step-up and an innovation in protocols for entering buildings as we reopen them. Previously, individuals who were approved to return to research buildings were asked to complete a health status self-assessment each time before entering a building. To better protect everyone’s health as more people are approved to return to campus, this honor system will be replaced with staff monitors at entrances of some buildings to confirm the health status of individuals entering those buildings.

New Technology

To provide an easier and more private option for our faculty and staff, KU is partnering with a non-profit organization founded by Brian McClendon to test a health verification mobile app called CVKey through a pilot project. Brian is a KU alumnus, former Vice President at Google and current KU Research Professor in the School of Engineering. He has pulled together a team of volunteer experts from around the world to develop the app to help communities more safely reopen during COVID-19. The CVKey Project Council of Advisors includes former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who also served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Perry Alexander, KU AT&T Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Information and Telecommunications Technology Center.

About the Pilot Project

During the pilot, individuals who are approved to work on campus can use the app to daily assess whether they are at risk of novel coronavirus exposure and what actions to take if they are. Although the app is not mandatory, individuals can use it to complete the health status assessment that is required each time before entering a building. Individuals who choose not to use the mobile app will be required to complete a paper health assessment form before entering their building.

Faculty and staff approved to work in select research buildings during the pilot project will be notified with additional details about the process and how to download the app before the screenings begin on June 8. During the pilot, the app will only be available to individuals approved to work in the designated campus buildings.

App Advantages

Using the CVKey mobile app is not required, but it provides benefits over the paper health assessment alternative:

  • Health information is not shared with staff building monitors
  • Individuals can complete the self-assessment at home and know before leaving if their health status allows access to campus buildings
  • Streamlined entry into the building
  • App is automatically updated with information on COVID-19 symptoms

The self-assessment and health-related information is strictly confined to the individual’s mobile device. No personal health data is shared or stored outside the mobile device. The only information provided to the staff building monitor through the QR code is a simple yes or no indication of whether the person’s health assessment meets the criteria to enter the building that day. The app cannot be used for other functions, including location tracking or contact tracing.

Our Shared Responsibility

Not only does this effort help ensure each member of the KU community is current on the latest known symptoms of COVID-19, it also helps each member play an active role in protecting the health and well-being of everyone on our campuses. This effort embodies our mission of “making discoveries that change the world,” and we are fortunate to have this opportunity to partner on a solution that could provide a responsible way for communities around the world to move forward and reopen more safely.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor