K College COVID-19 Information
As the COVID-19 illness receives increasing media coverage, we want to provide campus-specific information.
Information about specific campus actions and decisions will be communicated via the K College email system.
Prevention is Essential
We can all engage in practices that will increase our individual and community safety. Key among these is:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol). Sanitizer is available in the dining hall and at other locations around campus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The importance of these practices cannot be over-emphasized.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have there been cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.?
Yes. The first case of COVID-19 in the United States was reported on January 21, 2020. The current count of cases of COVID-19 in the United States is available on CDC’s Cases in the US webpage.
How does COVID-19 spread?
At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading between people. Learn what is known about the spread of newly emerged coronaviruses at the CDC How COVID-19 Spreads page.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Patients with COVID-19 have had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
What are the College’s plans?
The College monitors information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Department of Health, and the Kalamazoo County Department of Health on a daily basis. In the event of a local outbreak, the College will cooperate with the direction of the local health department. Communication about campus responses to an outbreak will occur via the K College email system.
In the event students become ill, the College will follow our highly effective influenza practices and procedures. On-campus students diagnosed with COVID-19 will be encouraged to recuperate at home with family members, if possible. Students unable to leave campus will be encouraged to stay in their room, and roommates will be encouraged to stay with friends in other locations. The Student Health Center can make arrangements for meals from the dining hall to be delivered by friends to students staying in their room. Infected students are also provided with information about sanitizing their living spaces to decrease the chance of further infection.
If there is a significant outbreak locally, the College will evaluate, with the guidance of local health officials, whether to cancel public events and gatherings. If warranted, this will include the option of cancelling classes, encouraging local/regional students to return home for a period of time, and other activities.
We encourage students from the Midwest to talk with their families about returning home temporarily should a significant outbreak occur.
What if I think I’m ill?
For students: If you feel ill and have reason to believe it is due to COVID-19, please contact the Student Health Center (SHC) before coming to the office. SHC staff will provide further instructions. In any case, if you feel ill, do not go to class, work, practice, rehearsal, or other places where you may unintentionally spread the virus. Please let your instructors and supervisors know that you will be absent due to illness.
For faculty and staff: If you feel ill and have reason to believe it is due to the COVID-19, please contact your primary care provider (PCP). Your PCP will provide further instructions. If you feel ill, do not come to work and please let your department/supervisor know that you will be absent due to illness.
What about study abroad? The Center for International Programs (CIP) is monitoring an array of international COVID-19 and travel-related sites, and is in regular contact with our staff and partners at study abroad sites. The CIP has been in contact with students abroad and their families, and with students slated to depart for Spring Quarter programs later this month.
We will follow the directions of the Department of State, which is guided by surveillance and medical information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At this point, none of K’s study abroad sites are in regions where either the U.S. Department of State or the Centers for Disease Control has advised cancelling non-essential travel. Even so, contingency plans are in place should students decide not to go or should we have to suspend programs.
Students returning from study abroad will be treated like other K students. Many of them have been monitored at airports on their way back to the States, and are considered healthy and cleared to return to campus.