Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated January 7, 2021.
What happens if I, or someone with whom I am in close contact, contracts COVID-19?

A limited number of rooms are being set aside in KU Student Housing in order to provide quarantine and isolation space to KU Student Housing residents who are being tested for or are already confirmed positive for COVID-19. The use of appropriate physical separation will be as directed by Watkins Health Services or other health authorities in Douglas County. We highly recommend students stay on campus during the academic year to help reduce the possibility of coming in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

What if I'm an off-campus student (including fraternity or sorority residence) and I've tested positive for COVID-19?

Isolation space in Naismith Residence Hall is now available to off-campus students, including fraternity or sorority students, to isolate for the duration of a COVID-19 illness or while symptomatic and awaiting test results. Approximately 30 spaces are available. Remember that quarantine (staying at home after direct exposure to someone who has the virus) is different from isolation. Isolation means that you cannot leave your space for any reason until directed to do so by a medical professional or unless there is an emergency. Those in isolation at Naismith must also abide by all KU Student Housing policies.

More details are available here.

How does a student quarantine for those who don’t currently have symptoms but were exposed through close contact to someone with COVID-19?

Quarantine, for those who have no symptoms but were exposed, will likely occur in a student’s room. Alternative arrangements will be made for students whose residence has a community bath and based on guidance from health officials. A quarantined resident will typically need to stay in their room for 14 days, while monitoring their symptoms. Symptoms may appear between 2-14 days after exposure. Students may leave the room for essential operations (i.e., meals, laundry) but they must wear a mask at all times and maintain a six-foot distance from others.

How will a current resident self-isolate when they’ve tested positive or are ill from COVID-19?

Self-isolation location will be determined by KU Student Housing in consultation with KU’s Watkins Health Services or other Douglas County health authorities. KU Student Housing will have isolation space for residents. For residents relocated for self-isolation, they may leave belongings in their room, but will need to pack enough personal items for a 14-day stay. Students will receive instruction about the process from KU Student Housing professional staff or a student may choose to isolate at their permanent address if they are able to safely travel there. KU Student Housing and KU Dining have an agreement that allows residents to order food from your dining plan for delivery. If you do not have a dining plan and need to isolate due to COVID-19, information about meals will be shared with you.

Will students in quarantine be monitored?

Students will self-monitor. If they are symptomatic, students should call Watkins Health Services at 785-864-9500 for instructions on COVID-19 testing, mitigating symptoms, and other health protocols. Health care expenses and any communication regarding the students’ condition will be handled by Watkins Health Services, not with KU Student Housing.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19, will others on the floor need to quarantine?

Possibly. Guidance about whether a student is considered a “close contact” to a person who has tested positive will be determined by KU’s Watkins Health Services or other Douglas County health authorities. No additional measures would be required of the other students on the floor if they were not considered a close contact, other than continuing to follow expectations regarding wearing a face covering, washing hands frequently, monitoring their health for COVID-related symptoms, and practicing physical distancing when outside their room.

What does my student do if the roommate tests positive?

Consult with Watkins Health Services, 785-864-9500. If the student believes they are experiencing symptoms, Watkins can issue instructions on health protocols such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, washing your hands often with soap or hand sanitizer, and cleaning surfaces.

What types of items should residents consider in a "go bag" if they need to relocate for isolation?
Consider a "go bag" packed with some essential items you might need while in isolation. If you put it in an easily identifiable bag ("Please bring me the red Nike bag next to my shoes in the closet") someone could add a phone charger and computer and bring essential items to the student. Some ideas for a small "go bag" could include:

  • Water bottle; small snacks such as applesauce, ramen
  • Cough syrup, ibuprofen, mentholatum, thermometer or other over the counter products for comfort
  • Sweatpants, shorts, tshirt, underwear, fuzzy socks, fleece throw
  • Masks, gloves
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, soap, comb)
  • Remember that while residents may leave belongings in their room, they may need enough personal items for a 14-day stay which could be more things than are included on this list.

    What are facts about COVID-19? (PDF)

    What does it mean to self-isolate during COVID-19? (PDF)

    What does it mean to self-quarantine during COVID-19? (PDF)

    What about dining services on campus?
    To help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and to protect the safety, health, and well-being of our community, KU Dining Services is making important adjustments to on-campus dining for 2020-21. Click here for details.
    What about the changes to scholarship hall dining?
    Please know we did not arrive quickly at the scholarship hall dining decisions we announced on June 25. We consulted with public health officials and KU leadership to work through solutions for the safest return to campus—especially the unique challenge of the scholarship hall community and its cooperative living environment. The spread of COVID-19 both in Kansas and around the United States continues, and we made the difficult announcement of changes to our schol hall experience so that residents knew what this fall semester will be like when they return to campus. On July 7, members of KU Student Housing leadership met with members of the All Scholarship Hall Council Executive Board, as well as incoming presidents of each hall, in order to address questions about the coming school year and further develop plans to address how the announced changes will impact the community. We know there are many questions, and we will work with student leaders to create community expectations for the shared living spaces—including the kitchen spaces and dining areas—in the schol hall facilities.
    I live in a scholarship hall. Can I add additional money for a larger dining plan since I’ll be eating in a KU Dining venue this fall?

    Yes. We are currently finalizing a process for scholarship hall students to pay for additional dining dollars on their KU ID card. Dining plans and rates are available here.

    What changes are occurring to help reduce the possible spread of COVID-19?

    To reduce the possible spread of COVID-19, KU Student Housing will implement the following policies and protocols:

    • Face coverings or masks will be required in Student Housing facilities when outside the individual’s room, suite or apartment. This expectation is for all students, staff, and guests. The university also has a mask mandate - inside and outside - for the entire campus.
    • We will increase the cleaning and disinfection frequency of common “high touch” areas, including elevator buttons, exterior door handles, and community restrooms throughout each day.
    • We will place signage in public areas, including elevators and floor lounges, limiting occupancy to a specific standard.
    • Shared community spaces such as laundry rooms and floor lobbies will be furnished with cleaning supplies and instructions for students to disinfect the space or equipment before and after every use.
    • We reserve the right to amend guest visitation policies to restrict (or prohibit) non-residents from entering KU Student Housing facilities.
    Will the halls be cleaned prior to move in?
    Yes. KU Student Housing also will increase the cleaning and disinfection frequency of common high-touch areas, including elevator buttons, exterior door handles, and community restrooms throughout each day. In addition, there are disinfection kits available to residents for use in shared community spaces. The kits contain cleaning supplies and instructions so residents may disinfect the spaces before and after use.

    Will I be required to wear a face mask in my hall?

    Yes. Face coverings or masks will be required in Student Housing facilities when outside the individual’s room/suite/apartment. This expectation is for all students, staff, and guests. The university also has a mask mandate - inside and outside - for the entire campus.

    How will Housing staff enforce the face covering and cleaning rules?

    Students who fail to wear a face covering or follow other public health directives will be asked to comply, and then may be held accountable in the student conduct process—which can included removal from housing.

    Will Student Housing provide cleaning supplies?

    Students will be responsible for bringing personal cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, and other disinfectant products for use within their room. Additionally, we will increase the cleaning and disinfection frequency of common “high touch” areas, including elevator buttons, exterior door handles, and community restrooms throughout each day. Shared community spaces such as laundry rooms and floor lobbies will be furnished with cleaning supplies and instructions for students to disinfect the space or equipment before and after every use.

    If I have requested a roommate, may I keep my preferred roommate?

    Yes. Students will still have the choice to live with their selected roommates or suitemates. Roommates will be treated as a single household and, for this reason, will not be required to wear a mask inside their room or suite. Student room assignments may change to other floors or buildings to reduce the number of residents using community restrooms.

    Are single rooms available?

    Yes. Although most single occupancy rooms are full, a limited number have been reserved by KU Student Housing. Priority for those spaces will go residents who require a single room because of documented medical need that has been approved by University Academic Support Centers. Because of building configurations, singles are not available in every community.

    What if I have a chronic health condition?

    If you need assistance with a special medical need, please establish a file with the University Academic Support Center, Student Access Services. You will need to include a description of the housing accommodation plus documentation of your need. Contact information: University Academic Support Center, 22 Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, Kansas 66045. Phone: 785-864-4064. Fax: 785-864-2817.

    My roommate cancelled. Am I getting another roommate or do I get the room to myself?
    It depends. You might get another roommate before move-in. For the first part of the semester, we are suspending room moves to occupied spaces unless all parties have requested the move. The unoccupied space in your room needs to be ready for a new roommate once room changes are allowed again.


    More than $200,000 in annual scholarships to returning residents
    Academic success: More than 94 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen in student housing enroll for the next semester
    5,100 residents choose student housing each year
    Residence hall rates are almost $2,000 less per year than the national average for public schools
    — College Board
    $4 million alumni gift funded Krehbiel Scholarship Hall
    Options include suites, private bedroom with shared bath, two-person rooms, scholarship halls, and apartments
    Oswald and Self residence halls opened in 2015
    One bill covers all costs: room, food, utilities, and wireless Internet
    One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities