ISS COVID-19 Information
*Last Updated 07/31/2020
Arrival or Return to Campus
For details, please see the Travel Quarantine Update provided by Watkins Health Services. The quarantine section is about half way down the page. Please keep scrolling on the Watkins Health Services page.
Social distancing is a day-to-day precautionary measure used by non-exposed people to help prevent the spread of a disease. Everyone is expected to practice social (physical) distancing at this time.
Quarantine is a prevention strategy used to monitor and separate well people who may have been exposed to a disease for a certain amount of time to see if they become ill. Quarantine helps prevent the spread of disease. Quarantine usually takes place in the home. You should quarantine if you have recently traveled from abroad or outside the state of Kansas.
Isolation is a prevention strategy used to separate people who are sick with an infectious disease from healthy people. Isolation helps limit the spread of disease. Isolation can take place in the home or hospital. You should practice isolation if you are waiting for COVID-19 test results, have tested positive for COVID19, or have symptoms of the disease without a test.
Additional information may be found here.
If you live on campus, KU Student Housing will provide dedicated rooms for on-campus residents who need to quarantine. More information is available at housing.ku.edu/august-2020-ku-student-housing-plans.
If you live off campus, you will need to make your own arrangements for quarantine or isolation as needed. You are expected to follow isolation and quarantine guidelines set by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
Those under 14-day home quarantine should not attend school, work or any setting where a 6-foot distance from other people can’t be maintained. You may not participate in university activities or use university spaces during this time. Monitor yourself for symptoms of fever, cough or trouble breathing. Seek medical attention if needed. Wear a facemask to help protect the people you live with. Additional suggestions for home quarantine may be found here.
All members of KU and the Lawrence community play an important role in slowing the spread of COVID-19. You are expected to follow university, state and local health guidance. Information about the authority to issue and enforce isolation and quarantine in Kansas may be viewed here.
Many retail shops, grocery stores and restaurants offer online shopping, curbside pickup and delivery. There may be a small fee for these services. Grocery stores including Checkers, Dillon’s and Hy-vee offer these services. Additional information about restaurant and grocery deliver in Lawrence may be found here.
*Please note, International Support Services does not contract with these companies and you may find another company which offers a better service for your needs.
KU Dining & Catering has developed protocols to protect the safety and well-being of the community. This includes mobile orders, touchless payment options and adjusting dining seating capacity. More information is available at: https://dining.ku.edu/august-2020-ku-dining-reopening-plans-safety-protocols
COVID-19 Travel Issues
"Students traveling from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland with valid F-1 and M-1 visas, do not need to seek a national interest exception to travel. Students from those areas who are traveling on a J-1 may contact the nearest embassy or consulate to initiate an exception request."
This means that the Department of State has indicated that F-1 students that have been physically present in the Schengen Area, Ireland and United Kingdom may enter the United States with a valid F-1 visa. J-1 students and scholar will need to contact their embassy to start an exception request. At the moment we do not have confirmation from US Custom and Border Protection that they will allow entry for these students. Find out if your embassy is open for visa services.
Please note that presidential proclamations that are preventing entry for people who are physically present in China, Iran, and Brazil are still in effect and it does not seem like students are able to get national interest exemptions.
Since early February there have been five US Presidential Proclamations issued that have stopped entry to the United States for all aliens (immigrants, non-immigrants, and other non-U.S. citizens), who were physically present within the specific country during the 14-day period preceding their attempted entry to the United States. These proclamations have no inherit end date, they can only be lifted by the President, and so, are still active and prevent people from entering the United States.
- China Travel Proclamation - began Feb 2, 2020. (link to proclamation)
- Iran Travel Proclamation - began March 2, 2020. (link to proclamation)
- European Schengen Area Travel Proclamation (26 countries) - began March 13, 2020. (link to proclamation). Please see above for national interest exemption for students from the Schengen Area.
*note: the European Schengen area includes Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
See previous news alerts about visa services being suspended
According to DOT, the Civil Aviation Authority of China "responded by revising its restrictions to permit U.S. carriers the ability to operate one flight per week each." On June 5, the Department of Transportation issued an amended order that selected Chinese airlines could operate two flights per week.
Practically, Chinese nationals wishing to return home because they graduated or finished their research program or employment at KU have not been able to return home because flights back to China have been severely limited. Previously only Chinese airlines were offering one flight per week. Now that US carriers will be able to offer one flight per week as well, this should increase the number of flights, but it remains to be seen if this will be enough.
COVID-19 Facts for Kansas and Lawrence
Yes. Per university policy, everyone is required to wear a face covering (cloth face covering, surgical mask, etc.) over their mouth and nose when in common areas of a building or when within six feet of another individual(s) anywhere on campus. As of July 3rd, 2020, masks are required throughout the State of Kansas in the following situations:
- "Inside, or in line to enter, any indoor public space"
- "Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings, including but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank"
- "Waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle"
- "While outdoors in public spaces and unable to maintain a 6-foot social distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity"
State and local guidance also require masks to be worn in public spaces when social distancing is not possible. Cloth mask recommendations and information on how to request a cloth mask is available here.
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.
KU will conduct mass testing for all students, staff, and faculty. Testing protocol will be communicated in the coming weeks. Click here for more information.
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.
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.