Dear Roo Family,
Thanksgiving break is near – a time to gather with family and friends and the last respite before final projects and final exams. This year, November also marks a sobering chapter in our pandemic journey. We urge you to redouble your efforts to stay safe – and help keep others safe.
We are currently facing widespread community transmission of COVID-19 in the Kansas City area, and across the nation. Cases are spiking, testing wait times have increased and hospitals are near capacity. While there has been promising news about a vaccine recently, we remain months away from possible approval and general distribution.
The situation is serious, so please do everything you can to halt the curve by consistent mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding gatherings both small and large. Please practice good health hygiene, including getting your flu shots if you haven’t already, as we head into November break and the final weeks of the semester.
Campus. If students cannot travel for break or are concerned about exposing family to COVID, Residential Life housing remains open during Thanksgiving break, at no extra cost but a request must be made.
Travel. When you pack, plan to take critical learning tools with you in case you become ill or your academic modes must change due to the local impacts of the pandemic.
Health and testing. If you are symptomatic prior to break, contact a healthcare provider, get tested and do not travel if results are positive. If you become symptomatic during your travels home, contact a healthcare provider, get a test and do not return to campus if the results are positive until you are cleared to return. The Kansas City Health Department lists free testing resources, and you can call the COVID-19 Testing Resource Center during business hours to make an appointment at 311.
In general, continue to follow these guidelines for the remainder of the semester:
If you test positive, were exposed to COVID-19 or are exhibiting symptoms: do not visit campus or any public areas. Follow the advice of your health-care provider, cooperate with contact tracing with public health officials and continue to practice good health hygiene.
Within four hours of your learning of a positive test, you need to notify UMKC so we can begin necessary sanitization and notify campus of a positive case. UMKC has notification processes for both students and employees. Start with this step:
Students: Call the Student Helpline, 816-235-2222.
Employees: Contact your supervisor.
After-hours for all: Call 816-235-COVI.
Communications. Please continue to check your email for new information as well as the UMKC Coronavirus website for updates, daily notifications and resources.
We appreciate everything you do to keep yourself, your family and our community safe.
In this together,
C. Mauli Agrawal, Ph.D.
Jenny Lundgren, Ph.D.