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K-State Today

January 14, 2022

COVID-19 surge leads to temporary measures

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Health officials in Kansas continue to warn of high prevalence of disease and community spread fueled by the Omicron variant. As a result, Kansas State University is taking additional temporary steps to protect the health and safety of all K-Staters and maintain operational continuity. By working together, we can do what’s needed to stay on track this semester. 

If you are ill or experiencing COVID-like symptoms, please stay home. Health care professionals are advising that you should assume you are positive if having symptoms. Given the rapid pace of the latest surge, the university is putting the following temporary measures in place: 

The temporary indoor face mask requirement will continue for the start of the semester. This means that everyone must wear face masks over their mouths and noses in all indoor spaces on university property unless alone in their private offices or workspaces. Free masks and personal protective equipment are available from the university storeroom upon requests from departments.

Please note that health care providers recommend using a well-fitted and more effective mask, such as a KN95, N95 or surgical mask. Read about more effective masks and ways to improve how your mask protects you

In-person events and meetings
If you are planning an in-person meeting or event in the next couple of weeks, please be thoughtful about the safety protocol for those who may attend. Where feasible, meetings or events should be held virtually. 

Decisions on meeting and event format and status will be up to the appropriate dean or vice president-level administrator. If planned events or meetings must take place in person, masks should be required and avoid food and drink, if possible. The goal is to reduce the amount of time people spend together being unmasked. 

Guidance for faculty members with regard to classes and labs has been issued by the provost's office.

Quarantine and isolation
The university has updated its isolation and quarantine procedures to follow national, state and local guidance. It is likely that more students will be in quarantine and isolation this semester. Faculty members and instructors should accommodate students in quarantine and isolation.

The university will be changing reporting for quarantine and isolation based on the new reality of increased self-reporting due to limited testing and contact tracing capacity in our communities. 

The travel situation changes on a daily basis. Restrictions on university-related or sponsored out-of-state or international travel have been lifted, but travelers are responsible for unexpected or additional travel expenses, including quarantine costs. Read more about travel and transit.

We appreciate the cooperation and collegial spirit that continues to be exhibited by the K-State community. Our hope is that the current surge in cases will peak soon and we can lift these temporary measures. 

These COVID-19 protocol changes are necessary to help us continue in-person operations by protecting the health of our students, faculty and staff. Read further guidance and details on the university’s COVID-19 website at k-state.edu/covid-19.