ISS COVID-19 Information
*Last Updated 05/07/2020
You are not required to leave KU or Lawrence. This is your current home and we will work to help you stay and finish the semester here if you would like. Staying may be the least complicated way to manage everything at this time. However, we certainly understand the many emotions involved in this decision.
Student considering travel outside the United States should read the ISS COVID-19 Student FAQ for specific information regarding students.
There are several issues you must consider if you wish to depart the United States and then consider for your return to KU.
Many airlines have significantly reduced the number of flights they offer. Even if US states relax stay at home orders, it may still be very difficult to find a flight to return home. Please check your home country embassy website to see if they will have any additional requirements for you, such as a negative COVID-19 test result or being self-quarantined when you return home.
Planning your Return to KU
Certain travelers are prohibited from entry to the United States
There are several important issues to return to the United States. The first is a Travel Restriction issued by the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Any foreign national who visits one of these countries in the past 14 days is prohibited from entering the United States. This means that if you go to one of these countries you may be prohibited from returning to the Untied States until the travel restriction is lifted. We do not know when this restriction will be lifted. Do not expect that you can go to a third country to by-pass the 14-day time period and then enter the United States.
Visa services suspended at all US embassies
If your visa is expired, you will need to apply for a new visa at a United States embassy or consulate abroad. As of March 20, 2020, the United States Department of State suspended routine visa services at all United States embassies. When embassies start offering visa services again significant delays are expected. As of May 5, 2020, we do not know when United States embassies will restart visa services. If you don’t have an appropriate valid visa for entry, you can not enter the United States.
Planning your self-isolation after entering the United States
The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention requires that everyone who enters the United States is expected to self-isolate for at least 14-days and monitor their health and practice social distancing. This means that you should arrive at least 14-days before you are expected to start classes, begin work, or begin your research agenda at KU.
Where can I go to find information on COVID-19 in Lawrence?
Each day, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) provides updates on the number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas and each of its counties. Lawrence is in Douglas County. The KDHE, which is the state organization tasked with responding to COVID-19, also holds regular press conferences and issues state-wide health notices.
For local updates, visit Douglas County Coronavirus Response Hub. Using information from health agencies and local governments, this site provides information on the daily number of cases in Douglas County. It also gives information about the Stay at Home Order, which went into effect on March 24. It also answers frequently asked questions. Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, which is the local agency organizing response efforts in Douglas County, is also a good source of information.
For a broader view of what is happening in our community and state, you can read our community’s local newspapers. The Lawrence Journal-World and Kansas City Star provide daily coverage of COVID-19. All COVID-19-related stories are free to read.
What should I do if I am experiencing COVID-19 symptoms?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified a fever, cough, shortness of breath and several other body reactions as symptoms associated with COVID-19. Visit their website to learn more about these symptoms. The site also has a helpful guide to determine if seeking medical care is appropriate.
If you develop a fever and symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or difficulty breathing, please call your healthcare provider immediately. Their health care provider will provide guidance on testing. Those who use Watkins Health Services as their health care provider, they should call 785-864-9500. If you need to call outside of regular business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), they can call the Nurse Helpline at 785-864-9583, which is available 24 hours a day.
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
Please first call your primary health care provider. If a health care provider determines a test is necessary, the patient’s physician will place an order with LMH Health, then direct the patient to the hospital’s testing site, the Respiratory Evaluation Center. If you do not have a primary care provider, please contact Watkins Health Center.
Whether you stay in Lawrence, or leave for elsewhere in the US or overseas, ISS will continue to maintain your immigration record.
If you are a student, your legal status will not be impacted by classes being offered online for the rest of the semester. To maintain your status please report any change of address through iHawk using the COVID-19 forms. You must maintain a full course of study in your online courses or get ISS approval before dropping any classes. You can initiate the Reduced Course Load Request through iHawk.
If you are a scholar, maintain your teaching/research program regardless of your location. If you will finish your program at KU please contact ISS to let us know.
Lastly, please send an email to ISS to let us know your travel plans. We will respond and let you know next steps.