March 11, 2020
Coronavirus, COVID-19 update on university planning
Kansas State University is preparing for many contingencies as the COVID-19 situation unfolds around the country. Working groups meet daily to monitor the movement of the virus and mitigate the impact to operations and the surrounding community. The following information has been compiled from those meetings to help inform the university community.
Implications for operations
The Emergency Management Working Group is creating recommendations for all campuses in response to this rapidly evolving situation. Continuity of Operations Plans are due by Friday, March 13, from all units. The group is also preparing recommendations and thresholds for possible event cancellations.
Updates to health insurance for employees
Blue Cross Blue Shield announced an authorization waiver and increased coverage for COVID-19 associated medical services, including testing. This only applies to employees who use Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas as their health insurance provider. Read the company's full details.
Kansas State University implemented a travel ban on faculty-led or university-sponsored trips to countries that have a CDC Warning Level 3 or U.S. State Department Travel Advisory Level 4. The situation remains very fluid. Please check the university’s travel advisories page for updates.
Prioritizing health and safety for returning students
Following CDC guidelines, students who recently returned from the university's Education Abroad program in Italy are being housed in previously unoccupied Jardine apartments for a 14-day quarantine period. The students are being monitored by the Riley County Health Department and Lafene Health Center. All the students will follow Kansas Department of Health and Environment and CDC recommendations for the quarantine period. None of the students are showing any symptoms at this time.
According to the CDC, "quarantine in general means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease."
Testing of remote work scenario
Over the past several weeks, K-State has been preparing for how the university might respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus. Circumstances might require staff to work remotely. To prepare for this possibility, Information Technology Services is testing a remote work scenario this week. Read more on the ITS Blog.
Please continue to monitor the latest information at K-State's COVID-19 update website.