Current University Status - 7/29/20

  • KCU is in Stage 3 of the Campus Reawakening Plan.
  • Please visit the KCU Reawakening site for student and employee information related to being on campus, PPE, testing and health and safety guidelines. 
  • KCU has established a COVID-19 Response Fund for scholarships, technology needs and student assistance. Read more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

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Message from the President

July 4, 2020
Protecting Public Health Is Our Shared Responsibility

As published by The Joplin Globe on July 4, 2020.

Indeed, new daily coronavirus cases topped 50,000 this past week — the largest single-day total since the pandemic began — with 45 out of 50 states reporting more new infections than in the week prior. Given this explosive growth nationally, as well as the significant uptick in COVID-19 cases in Joplin and Southwest Missouri, we must come together to reverse the trend. During this Independence Day, I am reminded that as a people we are free — not free to do whatever we want but free to do what we ought to do as a society. Now we must share the collective responsibility to protect ourselves, our families and our fellow citizens and limit the spread of this virus.

We all value our personal freedoms in this country, and we are all growing weary from feelings of isolation and a loss of normalcy. However, if we fail to adhere to basic public health practice, we will pay an even greater price in the number of those who lose their livelihoods or, even worse, suffer and die from COVID-19. By adopting basic public health guidelines, we can make a difference in the cost of this scourge on our community. They include: If you’re sick, stay at home; if you were exposed to the disease, self-quarantine for two weeks; wash your hands frequently when out; stay physically distant (more than 6 feet); and when around others (outside your immediate household and especially indoors), wear a mask.

Scientists who study the transmission of respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19, say that infections typically happen when a healthy person comes into contact with the respiratory droplets of an infected person when he or she coughs, sneezes or speaks. Studies show that droplets from a cough can spread a distance of 12 feet — twice the amount recommended that people put between themselves and others. Wearing a mask can significantly reduce the exchange of spray between individuals.

All of us must recognize that none of us is immune to this disease and we need to wear masks as a temporary sacrifice to protect ourselves and others. An increasing number of government officials are extolling the virtues of mask-wearing, as they see an alarming uptick in coronavirus cases in virtually every state in the country. Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia are among those who are recognizing just how high the stakes have become, are choosing to wear masks and are recommending that others do so.

Additionally, we must not forget the tremendous risks faced by our physicians, nurses, other medical professionals and frontline responders. For as a society, we cannot risk overwhelming those systems due to the increasing spread of COVID-19.

During this Independence Day, we are reminded that through wars and crises our country’s citizens have always rallied and sacrificed for one another, no matter what their beliefs. Today, the most patriotic thing any of us can do to help our nation — and our own Southwest Missouri community — to combat the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus is to actively work to slow the spread by wearing a mask.

Through our shared commitment to one another, we will overcome this devastating public health crisis.

Marc B. Hahn, DO
President and Chief Executive Officer

View the op-ed at The Globe's website.

KCU COVID-19 Response Timeline


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a rumor going around that the coronavirus can go through N-95 masks, making the idea of wearing masks sound unhelpful.

Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, executive dean of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, spoke with FOX4 about the myth, saying it’s simply not true.

“There is a rumor that says the virus is too small and can get through. Not true,” D’Agostino said. “The virus is almost always linked to moisture, to water molecules that are coming out of our body, and even the fact that, if it was alone and only the virus, it’s so irradiate in the way that it moves that the N-95 is a great mask.”

He said the N-95 mask does enough to where health officials are comfortable wearing them in high-risk situations.

“When it’s used correctly, we’re not spreading virus, or we’re minimizing risk to such a level that we’re actually using this mask in front of coronavirus patients in ICU.”

However, he said not all masks are created equally.

“Where the problem is are the masks with the vents in the front. Those masks with the vents in front allow the exhaled gases from our body to leave through a very small, tiny portal. It’s almost no protection at all,” D’Agostino said. “Those masks were really invented for construction workers and those around dusty environments.”

Full Story



KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local doctor said there is a right to put on hand sanitizer, and there are also a number of ways to do it wrong.

Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, executive dean of Kansas City University, told FOX4 that using hand sanitizer should be a lot like washing your hands.

“Here’s the key. You still need to have it wet on your hands while you’re rubbing your hands, just like you’re washing your hands with soap and water, for 30 seconds,” D’Agostino said. “So, if you’re putting it on and just waving your hands back and forth to dry them, probably not doing as good of a job.

He also said the best hand sanitizers are the ones with alcohol. He said some sanitizers use other chemicals to which germs may have already adapted. Good sanitizer needs to be more than 60% alcohol. “I recommend 70%,” D’Agostino said.

He said people should also keep scrubbing their hands while the sanitizer is wet. Ultimately though, he said nothing replaces soap and water.

Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Johnson & Johnson has moved up human vaccine trial for COVID-19. Is a vaccine developed this early likely safe?
  • Will we have to get two doses? Why do we need to do that with some vaccines?
  • Arizona is seeing a sudden increase in positive COVID-19 cases. Why the sudden increase in cases? Is this something we could see in our area?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • The World Health Organization is now saying that it’s “very rare” for asymptomatic people to spread COVID-19. What are your thoughts on this?
  • Should people who attend protests for George Floyd — get tested for COVID-19?
  • What is quarantine fatigue and should we be concerned about it?
  • Many doctors are now offering telemedicine visits. Do you believe this is a good practice? What can patients expect while seeing a doctor in this way?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Social distancing is hard on all of us, but it can be especially tough on teens and their mental health. What should parents be on the lookout for when it comes to teens?
  • A new study found an association between lower humidity and an increase in positive cases. Does this mean summer humidity could impact the spread?
  • A new review says there’s no evidence that adults in good heart health should take a low-dose aspirin daily. Do the drug’s risks outweigh its benefits?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • People at these protests are not practicing — or really, concerned with — social distancing, should they be?
  • A FOX4 viewer said her son is returning to work as a bartender in the power and light district. He is staying with her, she’s in her 60s. He’ll be exposed to hundreds of young people, probably not practicing social distancing. What measures can she take to keep her exposure to a minimum?
  • Many people are choosing to wear masks. How often do you need to wash the cloth masks or change the paper ones as you’re going about your grocery shopping, work, etc.?
  • Can you leave your hand sanitizer in your car on a hot day?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Many people are hesitant about getting a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available. What goes in to developing a vaccine? How much testing do scientists do?
  • Does prior exposure to the common cold provide a form of protection for people against COVID-19?
  • President Trump says he’s finished taking hydroxychloroquine, why is he stopping now?
  • A lot of people are still quarantining at home threatening their physical and mental health. What would you say to these people — seemingly healthy people who are afraid to leave their homes?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • By now, most people have seen the video of the packed pool at Lake of the Ozarks. What are the ramifications of that?
  • In another story, two Missouri hair stylists potentially exposed nearly 150 clients when they worked for over a week while showing symptoms. They were wearing masks — do you think this helped?
  • What advice do you have for people returning to work — and being around people who are not taking social distancing seriously?
  • Full Story



Reawakening the KCU Campuses

Update from Dr. Marc Hahn, KCU president and CEO, on the initial plans for the reawakening of our campuses and students' return to KCU.



Kansas City University hosted an inaugural virtual Alumni Town Hall on May 21, 2020. Topics included in this Town Hall: Dr. Hahn speaks about how KCU transitioned from normal coursework to online coursework in response to the pandemic, a university status update from the Deans and a COVID-19-related questions and answers session.



Kansas City's Small Colleges And Universities Say Their Size Could Turn Out To Be An Advantage In The Pandemic

Smaller schools think they could be an attractive option this fall for students wanting to save money and avoid overcrowded classrooms. Dr. Edward O'Connor, provost and vice president for Academic, Research and Student Affairs at Kansas City University, weighs in.



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • The FDA is fast tracking the approval of vaccine testing and potentially vaccines — but how is this possible? Does this make those treatments riskier?
  • President Trump said he is taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative measure — after his doctor said the benefits outweigh the potential risks. What are your thoughts on this?
  • If and when a vaccine becomes available, who will get it first?
  • The USDA gave the green light for medical labs to test at-home coronavirus sample kits. Who gets these and how could this change things?
  • Full Story



KCU Alum Publishes Opinion Piece in MedpageToday

Graduating Med School During a Pandemic - There's No Place I'd Rather Be

Faiz Kidwai, DO, MPH, graduated in the class of 2020 from Kansas City University, and is an incoming PGY1 in psychiatry at SUNY Upstate Medical University. More



What The Future Could Hold For Kansas City's Small Colleges And Universities

Dr. Edward O'Connor, provost and vice president for Academic, Research and Student Affairs at Kansas City University is featured as a panelist in a podcast on KCUR, NPR in Kansas City.

COVID-19 will have a devastating impact on higher education, but it won't impact all colleges the same. Despite enormous challenges, some think smaller colleges can be more nimble when it comes to adapting to social distancing guidelines.



Kansas City University Reawakening Plans

Message to the KCU community from Dr. Marc Hahn, KCU president and CEO, on the initial plans for the reawakening of our campuses and some key decisions about the students' return to KCU.



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Is there a link between coronavirus and a vitamin-D deficiency?
  • Are we at a higher risk of catching coronavirus now that cities are beginning to reopen, and we’re coming in contact with more people?
  • How long before we really know the impact of lifting restrictions?
  • Can chlorine in pools kill the coronavirus?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Will warmer weather help prevent spread of COVID-19?
  • Should we avoid wellness checkups right now?
  • Do blood thinners really help COVID-19 patients who are severely ill?
  • U.S. teams are working on a new drug: mono-clonal antibody therapy. It’s supposed to create an “immunity bridge” while we wait for a vaccine. What does that mean? Is this a possible solution?
  • Full Story



Message from the President: Campus Re-Opening Update

Our university continues to monitor our state and region and study the best approaches for re-opening both our Kansas City and Joplin campuses, relying on the latest data and expert recommendations from public health, higher education and health care. Our number-one priority is the health and safety of our campus communities, and we are therefore committed to following best practices and policies in order to provide the safest environment possible when we return.More



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • How do you think social distancing will look this summer — at pools, offices, sporting events, etc.?
  • What are your thoughts on remdesivir as a treatment for coronavirus?
  • Last the CDC revealed six new COVID-19 symptoms to watch out for, are there any other possible symptoms you’ve heard about?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • What safety measures do you think will stay in place, even after Missouri and Kansas reopen?
  • Is it possible to get the virus a second time? Does the virus re-activating in the body?
  • Can heartburn medicine be used to treat COVID-19?

Full Story



KCU Establishes the COVID-19 Response Fund

Your gifts to this fund will provide immediate assistance to students who have urgent needs caused by the pandemic; support additional scholarship assistance for incoming and returning students; accelerate innovative programming and technology to enhance our students' learning experiences; and enhance our academic program with a professor of virology and microbiology. Your investment is crucial now. More



KCU Alum Shares Work on COVID-19 Research

Dr. Leonard Calabrese, DO, is renowned in the field of HIV research. Now he is addressing the complexities of COVID19 and offers insights on immunotherapies in Rheumatology, Immunology and COVID-19: The Cytokine Storm and Open Trials.  More



Message from the President: Sharing COVID-19 Perspectives with Broader Audiences

There continues to be much conversation around how long to remain sheltered in place, and when and how we need to work as municipalities, states, regions and a country to be able to re-open our society and economy. However, science must remain our beacon, guiding decisions about how we move forward in our communities, workplaces, university campuses and beyond. More


FOX4 asked you to share your questions about the coronavirus, and we asked KCU Executive Dean and Vice President of Health Affairs, Dr. Darrin D'Agostino, to answer them. Full Story



Message from the President: Addressing Students' Financial Uncertainty During COVID-19

It has been a priority for Kansas City University to keep the cost of education as low as possible for all of our students, having remained one of the ten least expensive private health science universities (MD or DO) in the nation. Especially now, we recognize the added financial hardships that many of our students and their families are facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. More



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Since the metro area has not seen a huge rush of cases, some on social media are complaining this was all “media hype,” do you think KC has been spared so far due to the extreme measures?
  • How will this impact the future of public health?
  • Can a pregnant woman pass COVID-19 onto an unborn baby?
  • A lot of people are making their own face masks — and some are creating a slot for filters — trying to mimic the ones in n-95 masks. Does this method work?
  • Can COVID-19 be carried through ventilation systems or pipes in apartment buildings?
  • Full Story



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Should we all be tested before returning to work — especially since some people don’t show symptoms?
  • Does vaping increase your chances of getting or dying form COVID-19?
  • Is the metro area “bending the curve”? How long after that is decided can the community discontinue social distancing?
  • What is the percentage of younger people dying of COVID-19?
  • Some people are talking about taking zinc, vitamin c, or eating certain foods to ward off COVID-19. Is that helpful?
  • Full Story



Message from the President: A Catalyst for Positive Change

By the time we are freed from the grips of this coronavirus, it will have impacted each of us and changed our lives in untold ways. Most of us will have either lost someone close or know someone who lost a family member, friend or colleague. More



Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Social distancing is the new normal right now. So if you’ve stayed at home for 3 weeks straight — is it safe to visit with family now?
  • Can I safely have dinner with my extended family or celebrate Easter under new social distancing guidelines?
  • Are COVID-19 cases in Kansas and Missouri still expected to peak around April 19?
  • Full Story



Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, executive dean and public health expert was invited to be part of a special weekly webinar series on COVID-19 sponsored by the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City. Watch his presentation here.



Message from the CFO/COO: COVID-19 Update

We have learned that an external vendor working on our Kansas City campus on Thursday, April 2, has tested positive for COVID-19. More


Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions on FOX4 News:

  • Can we get coronavirus from our pets?
  • What are your thoughts about the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine?
  • People are still confused about social distancing. What do you tell your family to do?
  • Full Story



Message from the President: Perhaps a Glimmer of Hope Based Upon Science

As the week comes to a close, I feel cautiously optimistic about our fight against this coronavirus. Science may be starting to show a ray of light on the horizon for our country in turning the corner on this devastating pandemic. More



Op-Ed in Joplin Globe from Dr. Hahn: We Must Continue to Listen to Science

The federal government’s newly established guidelines for social distancing through April 30 are more than just a good idea — they are absolutely essential for bringing the unleashed and rapid spread of the coronavirus under control. More



KCU Executive Dean and Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Darrin D'Agostino talks about the coronavirus with KODE Channel 12 in Joplin, Missouri. Full Story



KCU Executive Dean and Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Darrin D'Agostino answers FOX4 viewers' questions about the coronavirus. In the video Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions:

  • How critical is it to practice social distancing even though Missouri has not issued state-wide stay-at-home order?
  • Missouri's number of cases is expected to peak in May. Why is that?
  • What is the new antibody test we keep hearing about?
  • Should we be wearing masks? And, are those homemade masks helpful?
  • Full Story



KCU Executive Dean and Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Darrin D'Agostino answers FOX4 viewers' questions about the coronavirus. In the video Dr. D’Agostino answers the following questions:

  • Can coronavirus spread through food from restaurants or the grocery store?
  • Can coronavirus spread through shoes?
  • Will warm weather stop the outbreak?
  • How can you keep coronavirus from spreading through your house if someone tests positive?
  • Full Story



The Joplin Globe: Joplin 3D printing company combats medical supply shortage by producing free protective equipment

The global protective equipment shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a local 3D printing and engineering company to ramp up its printers to create free supplies like face shields for donation to those who need them.


Message from the President: Alumni, Thank You For All You Do

As our country continues the fight against COVID-19, we recognize that you and your teams are the medical professionals on the front lines of this crisis - the true heroes. More.



KCU Executive Dean and Vice President of Health Affairs, Dr. Darrin D'Agostino explains the difference in symptoms between allergies and COVID-19, and answers other viewer questions about COVID-19. Full Story



Message from the CFO/COO: University Events Update: COVID-19

KCU has extended the date restricting both off-site university-sponsored events and on-campus events to May 31, 2020. Also, until that date, University-sponsored travel will continue to be limited to essential travel between the Kansas City and Joplin campuses.



Television viewers submitted questions regarding the coronavirus via Facebook and KCU Executive Dean and Vice President of Health Affairs Dr. Darrin D'Agostino provided answers. Full Story



Message from the Provost: COVID-19 Update

On March 17, KCU temporarily suspended clinical rotations and transitioned to web-based classroom learning for all students through April 26, 2020. As the situation surrounding the spread of coronavirus evolves, given mandates by local/state authorities and out of consideration for your ability to make travel and living arrangements, the University has made the decision to extend that suspension through the end of the 2020 academic year.



Message from the President: KCU Community Update

Thank you and take care of yourself and those around you as we continue to navigate the many logistical changes in campus operations, curriculum delivery and modification of training.



Message from the Provost and CFO/COO: Important COVID-19 Update

As of March 20, the Kansas City and Joplin campuses will be accessible only to essential personnel until further notice.



Message from the Provost: Academic Schedule Update

KCU has temporarily suspended clinical rotations and transitioned to web-based classroom learning for all students through April 26, 2020.



Message from the President: Preparation, Knowledge and Action

Crisis response begins with an approach that incorporates a dedication to Preparation, Knowledge and Action.







Message from the Provost: COVID-19 Update

KCU has formally activated our Crisis Management Team to monitor and respond to situations as they evolve. Frequently Asked Questions.



KCU's Dr. Darrin D'Agostino, Executive Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Vice President for Health Affairs addresses concerns about coronavirus with WDAF Fox4 News.



KCU Blog published about Coronavirus.



KCU's Dr. Darrin D'Agostino, Executive Dean, College of Osteopathic Medicine, and Vice President for Health Affairs talks with KSHB Channel 41 about the flu and coronavirus.