2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
TESTING | VACCINE | SYMPTOMS | PREVENTION | QUARANTINE & ISOLATION | VIRTUAL APPOINTMENTS | TRAVEL QUARANTINE | VULNERABILITY
COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus that can spread from person to person. You can become infected by coming into close contact with a person who has COVID-19, whether that person feels sick or not. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) defines “close contact” as less than 6 feet in distance for greater than 10 minutes cumulative, masked or unmasked. You can become infected from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, talks, sings, etc. You may also contract it by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, and then by touching your mouth, nose or eyes.
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.
COVID-19 vaccine is available at Watkins Health Services by appointment. You may request Johnson & Johnson (one dose), Pfizer (two doses - requires a follow-up appointment) or Moderna (two doses - requires a follow-up appointment).
- STUDENTS - Schedule an appointment online through your secure patient portal. Alternatively, you may call 785-864-9507 to schedule an appointment.
- FACULTY/STAFF - To schedule an appointment, call the Immediate Care Clinic at 785-864-9565.
Members of the KU community who completed their initial Pfizer series by receiving their second dose at least six months ago and who meet the CDC qualifications for booster shots may schedule as follows:
- STUDENTS - To schedule an appointment, call Watkins appointment line at 785-864-9507.
- FACULTY/STAFF - To schedule an appointment, call the Immediate Care Clinic at 785-864-9565.
More information coming soon regarding Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots.
STUDENT VACCINE INCENTIVE PROGRAM
While not required by the university, students are encouraged to voluntarily submit documentation showing they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Students who submit this information are eligible to win prizes through the university's Student Vaccine Incentive Program.
OTHER HELPFUL INFORMATION
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
In addition to these CDC warnings, symptoms of blood clots include chest pain, shortness of breath, mental status changes and pain/color changes in your hands or feet.
If you are experiencing symptoms:
To promote the safest possible conditions on our campus, we strongly encourage preventive practices to prevent illness:
- Stay home when you are sick, regardless of symptoms, except to get medical care.
- Continue to practice everyday preventive actions (handwashing, physical distancing, wear face cover, etc.)
- Cover mouth with tissues whenever sneezing, and discard used tissues in the trash. If a tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into the elbow or upper sleeve, not into hands.
- Refrain from shaking hands.
- Respect physical distancing on campus and off. Maintain at least 6 feet between yourself and others. Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.
- Understand the risk of attending large gatherings. The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with and spreading COVID-19.
- Limit unnecessary travel.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces at home, work and on campus.
- Avoid sharing personal items (food, vape pens, water bottles, etc.)
- Review Douglas County numbers to stay informed on the local outbreak situation.
- Take care of your emotional health. Physical distancing doesn’t mean social isolation.
- Connect with university services, friends and family remotely when possible. Use telephone and video conferencing instead of face-to-face study sessions or group meetings.
Quarantine is recommended for individuals who have been directly exposed to COVID-19 or have traveled to Kansas from locations identified by KDHE. If no symptoms are present, you can be released from quarantine after 10 days. You should continue to observe for symptoms through 14 days, the incubation period for the virus. At this time, Douglas County has not adopted the 7-day quarantine protocol for a negative test. Therefore, testing will not end your quarantine any faster. Anyone who is feeling symptomatic should continue to quarantine for the full 14 days and seek testing.
Isolation is recommended for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic and awaiting test results, but unlike quarantine, isolation does not have a prescribed number of days. After completion of a time period set by a medical professional, isolation can be discontinued under the guidance of Watkins Health Services or your personal physician, who can also provide clearance to return to normal activities or have further medical care.
If you have already received a COVID-19 vaccine, per KDHE guidance, fully vaccinated persons (i.e.,more than two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or more than two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine) exposed to someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine or isolate unless symptoms develop. It is recommended to get tested 3 - 5 days after exposure, even if no symptoms are present.
If you are Required to Quarantine or Self-Isolate:
- Stay home until it’s safe to be around others or if medical care is needed.
- Contact your employer (if applicable).
- Call the individual(s) who can help with getting you food and other supplies.
- Be prepared to speak with public health officials who may be assisting with contact tracing.
- Contact your instructors as soon as possible to seek a course adaptation.
- Know how to engage with university services remotely.
- Stay connected with family and friends remotely. Utilize personal tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts for meeting with your faculty, advisors, university programming, student organizations, or talking to friends and family.
Last updated October 5, 2021
Watkins offers virtual appointments to students who are in Kansas during the time of the visit. Using Zoom video-conferencing technology, students can connect to one of our board-certified medical providers via the Zoom app. This quick and easy solution allows for live consultations over a computer, tablet or phone.
There is no charge for Zoom appointments for students who have paid the health fee as part of their required campus fees. Students who have paid a partial health fee will be charged the remainder of the health fee in order to use Zoom or in-person appointments at no additional cost.
How It Works
- Request a Zoom appointment.
Call our appointment line at 785-864-9507 between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday to request a Zoom appointment.
- Receive Zoom appointment confirmation.
A Watkins staff member will email you instructions and a link for your appointment. You will need to install the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device ahead of time.
- Attend Zoom appointment.
Follow the instructions provided to attend your Zoom appointment on the scheduled date and time.
Last updated July 13, 2021
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) issues regular mandates on travel-related quarantines for international, domestic, and cruise-related travel. Kansas residents and visitors who have traveled to the following locations need to quarantine after arrival in Kansas:
- Traveled on or after October 7 to the state of Alaska.
- Traveled on or after October 22 to the countries of Barbados, Georgia, Latvia or Serbia.
- Traveled between October 7 and October 22 to the countries of Bermuda or New Caledonia.
- Attended any mass gathering of 500 or more people where individuals do not socially distance (6 feet) and wear masks.
- Been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15, 2020.
Others needing to continue quarantining:
- Anyone who received notification from public health officials (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.
Last updated October 22, 2021
- People aged 60+
- People with underlying medical conditions at any age which may increase the risk of a serious reaction to the infection, such as:
- Blood disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease or on blood thinners).
- Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce medication doses due to kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis.
- Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis). Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
- Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS).
- Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks.
- Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus).
- Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders).
- Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease).
- Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen.
- Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury.