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K-State Today

February 28, 2020

Coronavirus, COVID-19 update for K-Staters

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The CDC released a public health response on Feb. 25, which gave updated numbers of positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. — one of 50* countries and territories with positive cases. None of the U.S. cases have resulted in death. As of Feb. 27, there are no positive cases in Kansas.

The CDC said that individual risk for the general American public is low but the current global circumstances suggest COVID-19 has the potential to become pandemic. The CDC also is asking the American public to share facts about COVID-19 to stop rumors and unnecessary fear of the disease.

As spring break nears and the campus community spreads out, there are many things K-Staters may want to consider to reduce the possibility of any infection — not just COVID-19. 

Everyone can help maintain a healthy community and reduce illness with simple healthy practices such as:

• Avoid sharing drinks, eating utensils and other practices that could transfer saliva.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when sick and encourage others to do the same.
• Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Follow CDC recommendations if symptoms of COVID-19 develop.

Kansas State University is taking precautions as an institution to prepare for a potential pandemic.

  • The university's Infectious Disease Advisory Committee is meeting weekly to coordinate preventive measures.
  • Lafene Health Center staff are in constant contact with local and state health departments to get updated situation reports.
  • The Office of International Programs is in close contact with K-State students abroad and is advising them based on individual needs.
  • The university's new assistant vice president and university risk and compliance officer, Elliot Young, is reviving the university's emergency management group. He is assembling functional experts across the university to coordinate possible responses and resources and develop emergency and continuity plans on an expedited basis.

In addition, the university will continue to provide updates through K-State Today and the Coronavirus COVID-19 update webpage. Please watch for these updates for current information, answers to frequently asked questions and to help stop rumors.

Lastly, there are resources on campus — such as International Student and Scholar Services and Office of Student Life — that can provide extra support for anyone concerned about the safety of family or friends in foreign quarantined cities. 

Have a happy and healthy spring break!

*This article originally stated that the U.S. was one of 32 countries with positive cases. From the time that it was written to publishing, that number increased to 50. Updated 10 a.m. Feb. 28.