March 13, 2020
President Richard Myers issues guidance to students on returning to campus communities
Dear K-State Students:
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is rapidly spreading. There is now community spread in Kansas, and we currently have students, faculty and staff returning from all over the world. At this time, our greatest tool to fight the spread of the coronavirus is social distancing from large gatherings. This is the reason we chose to delay the return from spring break and turn to remote teaching options, and why nationally you have seen the cancellations of major sporting events and conferences.
With that in mind, it is strongly encouraged that domestic students remain at or travel to their permanent place of residence and not return to the Manhattan or Salina areas. If you have a chronic medical condition or are ill at this time, this is an even stronger recommendation for your own well-being and the well-being of others. We understand that returning to a permanent home may not be possible for international students, who should contact the Office of International Programs with questions.
People returning from certain locations (CDC level 3 countries and above) will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Quarantine requires those people to remain separated from all others by at least 6 feet. This does not mean that those under quarantine cannot leave their homes, but they should remain alone and not visit places other people congregate. Primarily, this would be something like taking a walk. That said, this is a rapidly evolving situation and more countries and possibly even domestic areas could be added to the quarantine list.
Students, by and large, are at low risk for serious complications related to the virus, it's the people around you who are put at risk if you return to the area. The risk of death from this illness starts to increase at age 50 and is about 15% at the age of 80. This risk is also higher in those with chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. Our health care workers are on the front line in this pandemic, and from what we've seen in other places, our local medical facilities may be easily overwhelmed.
Social isolation strategies only work to curtail the spread of COVID-19 if everyone commits to adhering to recommendations given. If you choose to congregate with groups of people, you are putting both yourself and others at risk. Please do not come back to our campus towns simply to attend popular social events, such as the upcoming Fake Patty's day.
Again, we are committed to continuing your education through remote methods. These are unprecedented times and we all need to do our part. We will get through this together.
Richard B. Myers