2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Watkins Health Services is closely monitoring the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and working with university, local and state officials to ensure the health and safety of the Jayhawk community with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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
- 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 experience symptoms, please do the following:
- Students – stay home and call your healthcare provider. You may also contact Watkins Health Services.
- Faculty and staff – stay home and call your healthcare provider.
- Anyone encouraged to self-isolate – refer to CDC steps to monitor your health.
To promote the safest possible conditions on our campus, we strongly encourage preventive practices to prevent illness. Download the Healthy Habits (PDF) for tips.
Watkins Now Offering Virtual Appointments
Posted April 1, 2020, by Watkins Health Services
To better assist KU students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Watkins is now offering virtual appointments. 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.
Zoom appointments keep both patients and healthcare staff safe without the risk of face to face contact. Another benefit is continued care for students who may be away from Lawrence.
There is no charge to students for Zoom appointments.
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 member of our Registration staff 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.
Travel Quarantine List Expanded
Posted March 28, 2020, by Watkins Health Services
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has added two new states to the quarantine list: Louisiana and Colorado. Previously, just certain counties in Colorado were included. A comprehensive list of individuals in Kansas needing to quarantine for 14 days includes those who have:
- Traveled to Louisiana or anywhere in Colorado on or after March 27.
- Traveled to a state with known widespread community transmission (California, Florida, New York and Washington state) on or after March 15.
- Traveled to Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23.
- Visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties in Colorado in the week of March 8 or after.
- Traveled on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15
- Previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of cruise ship travel (finish out quarantine).
- Traveled internationally on or after March 15.
- Previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of international travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran (finish out quarantine).
- Received notification from public health officials (state or local) that they are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. Quarantine at home for 14 days since last contact with the case. A close contact is defined as someone who has been closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the patient is symptomatic.
Be Aware of COVID-19 Scams
Posted March 25, 2020, by Watkins Health Services
Cybercriminals are taking advantage of the pandemic emergency by launching thousands of coronavirus-related emails and websites on a daily basis. These suspicious domains are being used for phishing attacks, malware distribution and financial fraud by tricking users into paying for fake COVID-19 preventive measures, at home tests, cures, supplements and vaccines. Be aware of email, phone or text message scams luring users to purchase fake products or download and install malware by clicking on a link or opening an attachment. Misinformation is everywhere. Always rely on trusted sources.
The FBI warns to be cautious of anyone selling products that claim to prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19. Be alert to counterfeit products like sanitizing products and personal protective equipment (PPE), including N95 respirator masks, goggles, full-face shields, protective gowns, and gloves. Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity such as unusual payment terms (e.g., supplier asking for up-front payments or proof of payment), last-minute price changes, last-minute excuses for delay in shipment (e.g., claims that the equipment was seized at port or stuck in customs) or unexplained source of bulk supply.
If you think you have information of suspicious activity by a vendor, or believe you were a victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving COVID-19, please report it:
- Submit a tip to the FBI online
- If it’s a cyber scam, submit your complaint to the Internet Crime Complaint Center
- Contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via email
Post Spring Break Guidance
Posted March 13, 2020, by Watkins Health Services
As everyone returns to campus following Spring Break, KU is taking additional precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. While exposure risk remains low in Kansas right now, we continue to plan for potential spread of the virus.
The coronavirus situation is rapidly evolving and KU encourages you to check the CDC for national updates. If you have specific questions, contact Watkins at 785-864-9500 or your primary healthcare provider.
Routine health precautions to take:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do not share food or drinks, eating utensils or smoking devices with others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and frequently touched objects.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu symptoms.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with your forearm.
- If you develop a fever, cough or breathing issues contact Watkins at 785-864-9500 or your primary medical provider. Before going to a medical provider, call if you have symptoms to get specific information on how to visit the facility
People who may be more vulnerable to infection:
- 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.
In personally preparing for the community spread of COVID-19, here are some tips to implement social distancing measures:
- Increase the physical space between you and others to about 6 feet.
- Reduce the number of large gatherings you attend.
- Consider regularly checking your health status by taking your temperature to detect possible fever or being alert to respiratory illness.
Individuals who traveled over spring break and spent time in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon or Washington may be at increased risk of carrying the virus. We strongly recommend self-monitoring for 14 days to determine any evidence of fever and/or respiratory illness. These travelers are not subject to mandatory isolation at this time, but should avoid crowds, and medically vulnerable people such as the elderly, pregnant women, and the chronically ill. International travelers may need to self-isolate at home for 14 days, depending on their travel history. The CDC maintains a current list of countries at high risk.
When you need to travel for personal reasons, please voluntarily report your travel plans in advance. CDC and the U.S. Department of State continue to update their travel warnings regularly.
Updates for the KU Community
- March 6, 2020 - Provost: Health, Wellness, Preparation and Prevention
- March 5, 2020 - Watkins Health Services: Coronavirus Spring Break Guidance
- March 2, 2020 - Chancellor: Update on Coronavirus
- February 1, 2020 - KDHE: PUI Tests Negative for 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- January 28, 2020 - KDHE: Health Officials Investigating Potential Coronavirus Case
- COVID-19 Website
- International Affairs
- KU Alerts
- Pandemic Response Plan
- Study Abroad & Global Engagement