If you are a staff or faculty unit leader and you’d like to coordinate a cleaning and disinfection plan for your workspace or building, contact Custodial Services. You can locate your building’s custodial leadership member on the Custodial Services website.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
FS HVAC teams, in partnership with the University Engineer, studied the effects of increasing our MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating and it resulted in an exponential drop in air exchange rates and therefore a drop in the introduction of fresh air in the spaces. This would have an overall negative effect on the health and safety of our buildings (stagnant air). Increasing outside air intake and optimizing exchange rates are far more important than filtering. Mask wearing reduces the likelihood that the airborne particles make it back into the return air system at all.
To further enhance the ‘in room’ filtration, air purifiers have been installed in classroom and shared spaces. Filter units use hospital-grade filters to continually scrub and circulate the air.
Adapting common facilities
- Most buildings have at least one entrance with a touch-free door opener.
- Hand sanitizing stations available in hallways, typically located near elevators.
- Most restrooms have touch-free flushing and faucets.
- Drinking fountains remain unavailable, but most buildings have at least one water bottle filling station.
- One-way restriction on stairs removed.
- Common areas open.
- Break rooms open and restrictions of food storage lifted.
- Conference and meeting rooms open.
- Alcohol wipes still available for cleaning desktops.
- Rolling plexiglass barriers can be requested by completing the PPE Requisition Form
- Classroom seating designed for an optimal teaching and learning environment based on the Higher Learning Commission recommendations.
- Regular seating capacity in lecture halls.
Outdoor tents with electricity and WiFi are available for study breaks.
Campus Health Protocols
We are taking a comprehensive and coordinated approach to provide for our community’s health and wellness this school year. These efforts include:
- Enhanced cleaning methods and schedules across all campus classrooms, dining, transportation, and facilities.
- Posting hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes in all classrooms and around campus.
- Providing personal protective equipment and sanitizing supplies to students and employees.
We ask that all Jayhawks follow appropriate safety guidelines to help protect our campus community.
If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, stay home and contact your health care provider.
Members of the KU community can request symptomatic or asymptomatic testing at Watkins Health Services during regular operating hours.
For more information visit Testing Information.
If you’ve been exposed or display symptoms
Persons who do not meet all 3 of the criteria below should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, vaccinated persons with an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:∙
- Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine).
- Are within six months following receipt of the last dose in the series.
- Have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
Contact tracing and voluntary reporting
State law precludes the university from undertaking its own contact tracing efforts, but KU provides relevant information to LCDHE and KDHE, as appropriate, to assist in contact tracing. As we have throughout the pandemic, KU will continue to support contact tracing efforts of the Lawrence/Douglas County Health Department in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Health.
KU employees are encouraged to reach out for personal help if it’s needed. Benefits-eligible employees and their dependents can receive assistance through the state’s Employee Assistance Program, which offers short-term counseling services, legal advice, money management assistance, and more. Employees may also be eligible for the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund, which assists those who are experiencing financial hardship due to natural or personal disaster.
Employee health coverage
Visit the Kansas State Employee Health Plan website for information on health benefits related to COVID-19.
KU staff members who have been financially impacted by the pandemic may be eligible for the Rosalie Lanier Gray KU Staff Assistance Fund, which assists those who are experiencing financial hardship due to natural or personal disaster.
Supervisors may send an email or other written communication to individuals within their department letting them know someone has tested positive for COVID-19. Unless the positive employee has provided consent to release their name, the information should be shared anonymously. Employees, supervisors, and colleagues, are discouraged from discussing an employee’s health at length.
Individuals working within the unit are unlikely to be considered close contacts due to the fact that masks are required indoors. Therefore, they may not be notified by the Douglas County Health Department, Watkins, or any other medical agency as part of a contact tracing effort. There is still a possibility of transmission, however.
Anyone concerned about potential exposure should review the possible exposure decision tree.
Those who have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 should test 3-5 days after exposure.
Testing is available at Watkins for individuals with or without symptoms. To reduce risk of transmission, please make an appointment for a test by calling the Watkins Health Services Nurse Helpline at 785-864-9583.
For more information visit the Testing Information page.
3. Quarantine or Isolation
It is not your responsibility to monitor whether employees will need to quarantine. However, be aware that if a employee is NOT vaccinated and they are considered a close contact by public health to someone who tested positive for COVID, they MUST quarantine. If a employee IS vaccinated and is not showing symptoms, they DO NOT have to quarantine.
Anyone experiencing symptoms should get tested, wear a mask, and not come to work if they are unwell.
Pursuant to President Biden’s executive order for federal contractors, last Friday the Chancellor announced to campus that all KU employees, including student workers, are required to be fully vaccinated unless a religious or medical exemption has been requested and approved. This requirement also applies to all new hires that join our workforce. Individuals starting employment after January 18, 2022, will be required to meet the terms of this federal mandate on their first day of hire.
Going forward, KU HRM will be providing notification on all current and future job postings to alert potential applicants of this requirement. However, for searches that are currently in process or for new hires that have not yet started with KU, we will be sending out email notifications to all current applicants and future hires to inform them of this new requirement.
Applicants or new hires which elect to withdraw from a search or decline the employment offer, will be asked to notify HRM directly if they have either been extended an interview, interviewed or accepted a verbal or formal offer of employment. A member of the Employment team will be in touch with you immediately with such information as it becomes available.
Additional parking options, such as short-term permits, are now available in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to better accommodate our hybrid population.
Permit information for Faculty & Staff can be found on the Parking website.
- Federal law requires all drivers and passengers to wear masks.
Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine unless they are experiencing symptoms. Persons who are not fully vaccinated or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should continue to follow current quarantine guidance if exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
If an employee needs to be absent from work due to quarantine or isolation for themselves or to care for a dependent, they should use their provided vacation and sick leave accruals. If they do not have a sufficient leave balance to cover their absence, they may be eligible for Shared Leave. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
When an Employee's Dependent Needs to Quarantine or Isolate
Supervisors and department leaders are encouraged to provide flexibility to meet the needs of their employees. If an employee’s work can be completed from home, supervisors and employees should make a plan to provide temporary remote work. No formal request is required to be submitted to Human Resource Management for a temporary quarantine period.
Tests are offered free of charge to all KU students, faculty, and staff at Watkins Health Services. It is recommended that you take a COVID-19 test if any of the following are true:
- You are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- You may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. You should test on day 3-5 following possible exposure.
To reduce risk of transmission, please contact Watkins Health Services before arriving for a test:
- STUDENTS - call Watkins Health Services Nurse Helpline at 785-864-9583
- FACULTY/STAFF - Call the Immediate Care Clinic at 785-864-9565.
COST AND BILLING
- Symptomatic and close contact individuals should not have to pay for any of the testing resources on campus.
- Symptomatic COVID-19 tests will be billed to insurance. All insurance providers are required to cover these medically necessary tests in full when ordered by a healthcare provider.
- Members of the KU community who are showing symptoms of COVID-19 and who do not have insurance will not be charged to receive this test. The cost will be covered through alternate funding sources.
- All asymptomatic COVID-19 saliva tests for KU’s randomized prevalence testing and for testing of close contacts of positive cases will be provided at no cost to those who meet the criteria to receive these tests.