Quarantine and Isolation

Although KU plans to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 through physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and use of face coverings and hand sanitizer, some students will become ill or test positive for COVID-19. This page will give you information about quarantine and isolation rooms available for on- and off-campus KU students.

Quarantine:

Quarantine is a public health strategy used to limit contact between someone who may have been exposed to the virus and other community members. This helps prevent the risk of spreading the disease before a person knows they are sick or if they are asymptomatic and do not feel ill. KU Student Housing residents may choose to quarantine at their permanent home residence. If residents choose to remain at KU, they may quarantine in their current assignment unless their space includes a community bathroom or shared bedroom. Here is information about how to properly quarantine.

Isolation:

Isolation is for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms and are awaiting test results. It can be discontinued under the guidance of Watkins Health Services or your physician. Isolation means that you cannot leave your assigned space for any reason until directed to do so by a medical professional or unless there is an emergency. If you isolate at KU (you always have the option to return to your permanent address) you will self-monitor. Watkins Health Services, 785-864-9500, will handle any health protocols, including health care expenses and any communication regarding your condition. Here are isolation strategies.

Close contact:

Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.

To prepare for isolation.
Plan to bring enough personal belongings for 10 days. This list of potential items may be a starting point. You will likely need academic materials, phone and computer chargers, and computer. If you do not pack enough clothing for the duration, you may need to bring laundry detergent. Some ideas for a "go bag" could include:
  • Water bottle; small snacks such as applesauce, ramen.
  • Thermometer, cough syrup, ibuprofen, mentholatum, or other over-the-counter products for comfort. Don't forget prescriptions.
  • Enough clothing for 10 days: Consider sweatpants, shorts, tshirts, underwear, fuzzy socks, and a fleece throw.
  • Masks, gloves
  • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, comb, brush)
  • Glasses, contacts
  • Phone and computer chargers

Remember that a 10-day stay could require more items than are on this list.

Instructions for isolation in Naismith Hall for KU Student Housing residents.

Space to isolate for the duration of a COVID-19 illness or while symptomatic and awaiting test results is available in Naismith Hall at no additional charge for KU Student Housing residents.

If you were tested for COVID-19 at Watkins Health Services, Student Housing will be notified by the health center if you must isolate. Anyone who is symptomatic and will be in isolation may not stay in their current space, regardless of room type. KU Student Housing will work closely with Watkins Health Services staff to confirm dates for your isolation and when you will be cleared to leave. If you have tested positive, KU Student Housing will contact your roommates to give them information about quarantine (see quarantine definition above - it is different than isolation). 

After you are assigned to a Naismith room by KU Student Housing staff, you will receive instructions about how to check in at the building, where to park, the WiFi password, and other Naismith-specific information. 

In Naismith, you will have a private bedroom and be the only occupant. The room contains a bed, desk and desk chair. Each Naismith isolation bedroom has an in-room sink, a refrigerator, and microwave.

Basic bed linens, a pillow, and towels are provided, although you may wish to bring your own for your comfort. Extra towels and blankets are available at the front desk. You may call the front desk at any time (contact information below) and request an additional towel or blanket. Those who are in isolation will have extra linens left outside the door. Any linens that you've used should remain in your room for the duration of the stay.

The shared bathroom will have toilet paper provided and disinfectant for you to clean the space before and after use. Privacy is ensured by a lock on each bathroom door. It’s possible that another student of the same gender may be isolating in the adjoining bedroom.

If, after you check in to Naismith Hall, you make arrangements to return to your permanent or home address, you must notify the front desk that you will be isolating at home and check out at the front desk.

Instructions for isolation in Naismith Hall for off-campus residents, including fraternity or sorority residents.

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. Those in isolation at Naismith must also abide by all KU Student Housing policies.

If you must isolate after a positive result for COVID-19 or have symptoms and are awaiting test results, call Amy Long Schell, coordinator of student housing special projects, at 785-864-2495 or email amylong@ku.edu between 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to request isolation space.

The cost for isolation in Naismith Hall for off-campus students is $25 per night, plus the cost of food ordered through KU Dining Services. The costs will be billed to your KU Enroll & Pay account. After you are assigned by KU Student Housing staff to a Naismith room, you will receive instructions about how to check in at the building, where to park, the WiFi password, and other Naismith-specific information. KU Student Housing will work closely with staff at Watkins Health Services to confirm dates for isolation and when you will be cleared to leave. 

In Naismith, you will have a private bedroom and be the only occupant. The room contains a bed, desk and desk chair. Each Naismith isolation bedroom has an in-room sink, a refrigerator, and microwave.

Basic bed linens, a pillow, and towels are provided, although you may wish to bring your own for your comfort. Extra towels and blankets are available at the front desk. You may call the front desk at any time (contact information below) and request an additional towel or blanket. Those who are in isolation will have extra linens left outside the door. Any linens that you've used should remain in your room for the duration of the stay.

The shared bathroom will have toilet paper provided and disinfectant for you to clean the space before and after use. Privacy is ensured by a lock on each bathroom door. It’s possible that another student of the same gender may be isolating in the adjoining bedroom.

If, after you check in to Naismith Hall, you make arrangements to return to your permanent or home address, you must notify the front desk that you will be isolating at home and check out at the front desk.

Food
You must not leave to get food while in isolation. Food will be brought to you while in isolation. You may request your meals from KU Dining Services and the cost of the meal will be deducted from your dining plan. If you do not have a dining plan, you may purchase your meals from KU Dining Services.

Here are instructions to place an order with dining. KU Dining is practicing contactless delivery: The delivery driver will place the meal outside your door and knock to let you know your food has arrived. Do not open the door until the delivery driver has left.

If you are cleared to leave isolation but you’ve already placed your food order, cancel as soon as possible by calling 785-864-0835. If you do not cancel, you will be billed for the meals made and delivered. The cancellation window is 90 minutes before delivery.
Contact information for Naismith and Watkins, and staff support for Residence Life

Contact information once you’re in Naismith:
Naismith Hall front desk, staffed 24 hours a day, 1800 Naismith Drive, 785-843-8559.

Watkins Health Services, 785-864-9500.
Watkins 24-hour Nurse Helpline 785-864-9583
In case of emergency, call 911. 

Should you need professional Residence Life staff assistance during this time:

Aramis Watson - aramiswatson@ku.edu
Christian Robinson - christian.robinson@ku.edu
Amy Long Schell - amylong@ku.edu

Deliveries while in isolation; mail details for Student Housing residents only
In the event you require academic materials or medical items to be brought to you, you may designate someone to drop the item off at Naismith. That person must be masked. They will be able to make a contactless delivery by leaving the items outside of your room door.

While in isolation, Student Housing residents' mail and packages will be sent to the mailbox in your original Student Housing building, not your isolation space. You will be able to collect your mail after isolation is over.
Controlling room temperature with the thermostat
There are two kinds of thermostats in Naismith. If your thermostat is white, the asterisk * is coldest and Number 5 is the warmest. If your thermostat is black, directional arrows indicate warmer and colder. To keep the fan from blowing, turn it off with the switch located in the bathroom.

Student Housing News
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