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K-State Today

June 9, 2021

Continuing our move to phase out of COVID-19 protocols over the summer

Submitted by Richard Myers

Dear K-State Community: 

As we roll into the summer, our university community continues to adapt to our circumstances shaped by COVID-19. This includes updating university guidance to support our plans to move to phase out beginning Aug. 1 and our return to a largely in-person fall semester. Last week, we released changes to our face coverings and physical distancing policies. I am pleased to announce today the next series of updates to university COVID-19 guidance as well as provide some clarification of existing guidance. 

Gatherings and events
Gathering size limits will be lifted for all events and activities, both indoors and outdoors, effective June 14. Indoor gatherings may be held at the full capacity of the indoor space, including work, classroom and research spaces.

In-person interviews
In-person interviews may resume, effective June 14. Search committees may determine the use of virtual or in-person interviews. Candidates who are unvaccinated and traveling from high-risk areas as identified by KDHE must comply with the 10-day quarantine. Committees must provide a consistent interview format for all candidates. A candidate should not be placed at a disadvantage should they not be able to participate in in-person interviews.

Face covering and physical distancing guidance
Since announcing changes to the face covering and physical distancing guidance, we have responded to several questions seeking clarification. Those clarifications are below.

  • In addition to Lafene Health Center and university shuttles, the Center for Child Development is a setting where masking requirements remain in effect.
  • Individual labs, classrooms and other learning spaces, department or unit offices and individual offices may not be designated by individuals as spaces where face coverings are required. Employees who have concerns regarding health conditions may work with the university ADA coordinator regarding accommodations.
  • Laboratories where face coverings were designated as required PPE prior to the pandemic may continue to require face coverings.

Signage removal and adjustments
Over the next several weeks, teams will be working to remove and refresh signage on our campuses. This process will take some time and care will be given to repair surfaces. You can expect to see signage supporting our collective responsibility to help protect our communities by self-monitoring symptoms, staying home if we are unwell, washing our hands, exercising the option to wear face coverings, and getting vaccinated as individuals are able.

Summer camps and conferences guidance
Organizers of summer camps and conferences may modify their COVID plans based on the new guidance regarding face masks, physical distancing and event limitations. There is no requirement to submit revised plans. Additional information is available on the Summer Camps and Programs website.

Vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself and our campus communities. Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine are strongly encouraged to do so. Lafene Health Center continues to offer COVID-19 vaccine opportunities for students, faculty and staff. For a limited time, Lafene is offering single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines. When that supply is exhausted, Lafene plans to offer a two-dose vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines are available from Monday through Friday. Appointments are required and can be made on the myLafene+ patient portal or by calling Lafene Health Center at 785-532-6544.

The university is also participating in the COVID-19 College Vaccine Challenge as a special project of The White House and the U.S. Department of Education. Over the next several weeks, there will be a rollout of efforts to encourage vaccination. We invite everyone to support the goal of increasing awareness of and access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

Lafene Health Center is collecting and assessing available vaccine data acquired through local, state and national vaccination programs. Early indications are that we have collectively answered the call to protect our communities by becoming vaccinated. A separate effort is underway to survey new students regarding their rate of vaccination. This data will be used to inform educational programming and future guidance decisions.

We have made and will continue to make decisions that are based on public health guidance and rely on experts. Changes to university policy are consistent with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and supported by ready access to the vaccine, and endorsement by state and local officials. Having met the prerequisites for advancing to phase out, we are well on our way to returning to normal operational activities and on track for a full return to our campuses during August. Our plans to return to a more in-person semester will continue to be shaped over the coming weeks and we appreciate your patience.  

Our response to the pandemic has been admirable. Our collective efforts have allowed us to not only continue operations, but to succeed in our efforts to teach, learn, research and support the university's mission. Thank you for helping to keep us all #kstatestrong!

Richard B. Myers