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Kentucky State University will continue classes

The statement below was issued by Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II to the Kentucky State campus community.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky State University is closely monitoring the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) news and its proximity and effects in the Commonwealth. In staying informed about the issue, we have been in regular contact with health care providers, the Franklin County Health Department and Kentucky Cabinet for Public Health, and other health care groups and agencies.

As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety and well-being of our campus community.

All essential personnel should report to work Monday, March 16 at 8 a.m., unless you have a reasonable suspicion that you have been compromised. Students should return to campus Monday, March 16 for instruction. Students who have a reasonable suspicion that you have been compromised, should immediately contact a healthcare provider and notify University officials at [email protected].

Effective Monday, March 16, Kentucky State University is implementing a liberal leave policy for its campus community. You may elect to participate in liberal leave via ADP workforce. The University remains open and operational with appropriate measures to protect the health and wellness of our campus community.

Kentucky State has implemented emergency preparedness planning related to the outbreak of COVID-19. We have also been doing extra cleaning of several parts of campus to try to tamp down the common cold, flu and other viruses that are prevalent this time of year. For example, Kentucky State facilities team members are conducting vigilant daily cleaning of campus spaces. Additional hand sanitizer stations are being provided throughout campus. Hand sanitizer will be distributed to individuals, as well.

As of noon today (Wednesday, March 11), only a small number of cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Kentucky. Governor Andy Beshear confirmed the cases and reminds all Kentuckians to continue to take preventative measures. Information about current confirmed cases in Kentucky and further guidance can be found here. Additional information about reported cases in the U.S. may be found here.

We remind employees and students, regardless of where you are, to continue appropriate preventative measures as you would for the cold and flu. These include handwashing with soap and water; disinfecting surfaces including your desk, tables and door handles; covering coughs and sneezes; and avoiding shaking hands.

Kentucky State University measures to limit risk
As we continue to monitor the effects of the novel coronavirus, we have a plan in place to move classes online to Blackboard should the need arise.

With spring break ending at the end of this week and students returning on Monday, many people have traveled throughout the region, our state, and to other areas for various reasons. As you make your return trips back to campus, the CDC has guidelines for traveling that will help you plan your travel and help keep you well informed, and we encourage you to review those at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

Kentucky State has a contingent of students who have involvement in off-campus clinical rotations, practicums, and other laboratory activities in medical care facilities, nursing homes, and other health-based facilities within our region and beyond. We would urge those students, and faculty/staff who may be supporting them, to take the normal precautions, but to also be vigilant and follow the extra precautions recommended for health care providers.

Advice of medical/health community
We believe the best advice for our campus community is to listen to the advice of the medical community – that is to educate yourself on the facts and exercise both the normal and extra precautions.

Should you at any time believe you have had contact with someone who has the novel coronavirus or if you have been exposed in some way, please call the public health department in the county in which you reside and are located. You may also wish to contact your normal personal or family physician for advice.

In the case of those residing in Franklin County, the health department may be reached at (502) 564-7647. If you do not have access to a personal or family physician, or cannot reach the health department, our Student Health Services is available at (502) 597-6277.

While a provider can give you more information, some of the basic symptoms you should watch out for, and that may appear 2-14 days after exposure, are fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

If you develop symptoms and you feel you have been in close contact with a person known to have the coronavirus, or live in or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of the virus, then seek medical advice. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office, emergency room, or the clinic. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

Looking forward, stay focused
As the situation across the nation evolves, and it may potentially evolve more in Kentucky, we will keep you updated, and would ask our campus community to equally keep us updated should you know anything.

Let’s approach this with common sense, precaution, medical advice, and not through social media, rumor, or unconfirmed stories.

Students, as you return to campus from spring break, please be careful and have safe travels. Please know that this is a rapidly changing reality. For more information, visit www.KYSU.EDU/COVID19 New updates will be made as the situation evolves.