Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions? Email COVID-19.Info@kcumb.edu

Updated April 2, 2020

General KCU FAQ

This video is an excellent resource for learning more about protecting yourself and your family during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to take the time to listen to Dr. David Price of Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City as he shares how to empower and protect families during this public health crisis: COVID-19 - Protecting Your Family.

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.

Quick summary of what to do if you feel sick:

First and foremost, we urge you to stay home when you or someone in your household is sick.

Employees and students should also take the following actions if you believe you are ill. If you experience the following symptoms, you should immediately contact your personal physician:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If you exhibit these symptoms and think you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, please call ahead before visiting your healthcare provider. This will help your provider’s office take steps to keep other people from becoming infected or exposed.

In the event you become sick, please contact the appropriate person below:

  • All Employees – Julie Deane, Director of Human Resources
  • Academic Programs
    • College of Biosciences: Dr. Robert White, Dean: RWhite@kcumb.edu
    • PsyD – Antigone Zaharakis, Administrative Assistant II, AZaharakis@kcumb.edu
    • College of Osteopathic Medicine
      • First- and second-year students: Appropriate Phase Director for the student’s campus and academic year
      • Third- and fourth-year students: Roman Ramirez, Director of Clinical Education Operations, at rramirez@kcumb.edu

The KCU Building Services Department is dedicated to maintaining a clean and healthy environment on both campuses. These teams follow best practices and disinfect student and employee areas on a daily basis with products capable of decontaminating the surfaces. Cleaning protocols are ramped up during cold and flu season and certainly are increased during this specific focus surrounding COVID-19; common areas and high-touch surfaces are cleaned more frequently. Members of the KCU community can maximize the effectiveness of these efforts by following hygiene guidance including:

  • Wash your hands often (at least once an hour) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have a need for hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes, or are concerned about the cleanliness of an area, please reach out to Nina Tali at NTali@kcumb.edu. Please direct any other questions to Covid-19.info@kcumb.edu.

As defined by the CDC, self-monitoring means individuals should monitor themselves for fever by taking their temperature twice a day and remain alert for cough or difficulty breathing. If you feel feverish or develop measured fever, cough, or difficulty breathing during the self-monitoring period, you should self-isolate, limit contact with others, and seek advice by telephone from a health-care provider or the local health department to determine whether medical evaluation is needed.

If you are a self-monitoring employee or a student who becomes ill or you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 via travel or other interactions, please check-in with your designated KCU contact as follows:

  • All Employees – Julie Deane, Director of Human Resources, hr@kcumb.edu
  • Academic Programs
    • College of Biosciences: Dr. Robert White, Dean: RWhite@kcumb.edu
    • PsyD – Antigone Zaharakis, Administrative Assistant II, AZaharakis@kcumb.edu
    • College of Osteopathic Medicine
      • First- and second-year students: Appropriate Phase Director for the student’s campus and academic year
      • Third- and fourth-year students: Roman Ramirez, Director of Clinical Education Operations, at rramirez@kcumb.edu

As of Friday, March 21, KCU has limited access to both the Kansas City and Joplin campuses. Until further notice, only essential personnel will be permitted on campus. Essential personnel include the following:

  • faculty members who require access to technology for the recording of lectures;
  • campus safety and emergency management personnel; and
  • a limited number of other approved employees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released information stating that current phone scams and email phishing have increased because of COVID-19. Phone scams include an originating phone number that appears to come from the CDC, or voice mails that seem to be from the CDC. Sometimes the scammers are requesting donations. Do not give out your personal information, including banking information, Social Security number or other personally identifiable information over the phone or to individuals you do not know. Federal agencies do not ask for donations.

Another scam involves phishing emails. These phishing emails contain links and downloads for malware that can allow the scammers to take over healthcare IT systems and steal information. At least one campaign is pretending to send emails from CDC, and targets Americans and other English-speaking victims with attached notices regarding infection-prevention measures for the disease. Visit the CDC's page for tips on how to stay vigilant and follow good security practices to help reduce the likelihood of falling victim.

FAQ for KCU Students

Effective Wednesday, March 11, students do not have access to the campus for the remainder of this academic year. KCU students are advised to refer to their latest communication from the Office of the Provost for further information and guidelines.

At this time, there is not a requirement that you physically return to the region where your campus is provided that you are able to keep up with your academic endeavors remotely. You should, however, consider your current location and its risk profile and the possibility that you would still need to self-monitor when you return to the region where your campus is located.

We recommend you review the CDC guidance and practice social distancing and good hygiene. Monitor your health and report back to us if you begin feeling unwell.

Unfortunately, no. Student access to either campus will be very limited for a period of time. If a student has an item on campus they need to retrieve or they have another critical need for gaining access to campus, please reach out to student services. This opportunity will not be extended unless there is a critical need and will not extend to study rooms at this time.

Please refer to these internal resources on myKCU:

Third- and fourth-year students have provided varying feedback regarding their levels of comfort in continuing rotations; some are eager to be involved and others have expressed concerns. All are encouraged to follow each rotation site’s guidance and continue to experience true medical situations and environments to the extent you choose to do so, making sure to follow CDC recommendations for health-care professions. In compliance with our certifying and national academic organizations, we require that students not be involved in the direct care of suspected and diagnosed cases COVID-19. Students with concerns related to their own health, the PPE and other safety measures at a rotation site or other apprehensions, please reach out to Roman Ramirez, director of Clinical Education Operations, to discuss.

While we absolutely continue to stress social distancing and self-monitoring, we also understand that some people may need to be out and about in the community– grocery-shopping, running errands, and possibly studying at a coffee shop. We trust students to make decisions for themselves based on their own resources and needs in a way that provides for social distancing.

We will not hold KCU’s Research Symposium on campus on March 20th. We continue to explore both live and virtual options and will communicate details as soon as possible.

At this time, all University sanctioned events have been cancelled, postponed or modified in a way that that utilizes only web-based means at least through March 31. This policy applies to any University sanctioned service days and club-organized volunteer activities as well.

Updated March 11, 2020 - KCU continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and provide regular updates as the situation evolves. The public health guidance available continues to emphasize practicing good hygiene but also minimizing close contact among groups of people as a means of limiting the spread of COVID-19.

While there are no known campus-associated cases of COVID-19, there are confirmed cases in Kansas and Missouri. KCU is taking a proactive approach in its effort to prevent illness and continue the important work of the University. Some of the temporary policy guidelines may cause measurable disruption to some; however, the risk of inaction outweighs the inconvenience of these temporary measures. The safety of the campus community is always KCU’s top priority.

Effective March 11, KCU will transition to virtual instruction and suspend face-to-face instruction in all lectures, seminars, and other similar classroom settings through at least Tuesday, March 31. The campus will remain open and operational, but programs will transition to web-based instruction for all classes. Students will not be allowed on campus during this interim period.

KCU will continue to deliver curriculum that meets the academic requirements of our programs. Employees and various departments across both campuses have already begun to explore ways to continue their efforts in a remote way. KCU is committed to providing the support necessary to help faculty and staff in this effort.

Technology and Human Resources have created resources and tools for use during this temporary measure. KCU asks all students and employees to be aware of their health, particularly those who have recently traveled to an endemic area or been exposed in some way.

Please submit any questions to covid-19.info@kcumb.edu.

KCU’s Commencement Ceremony scheduled for May 9 has been canceled. The Municipal Auditorium canceled this event along with many others following a mandate by the Mayor of Kansas City limiting gatherings and events to under 50 people for the next eight weeks. We understand that Commencement is a tremendously important part of your KCU experience and we are committed to developing an alternative to provide a meaningful celebration of your accomplishment.

Please look for more information in the coming days as we will advise you of new plans. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact KCU’s Commencement Ceremony scheduled for May 9 has been canceled. The Municipal Auditorium canceled this event along with many others following a mandate by the Mayor of Kansas City limiting gatherings and events to under 50 people for the next eight weeks. We understand that Commencement is a tremendously important part of your KCU experience and we are committed to developing an alternative to provide a meaningful celebration of your accomplishment. Please look for more information in the coming days as we will advise you of new plans. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact UniversityEvents@Kcumb.edu.

FAQ for KCU Employees

Please reach out to Tyson Schank, HR Manager - Organizational Development and HRIS Analyst, HRManager@kcumb.edu.

Please refer to these internal resources on myKCU:

We will not hold KCU’s Research Symposium on campus on March 20th. We continue to explore both live and virtual options and will communicate details as soon as possible.

At this time, all University sanctioned events have been cancelled, postponed or modified in a way that that utilizes only web-based means at least through March 31. This policy applies to any University sanctioned service days and club-organized volunteer activities as well.

Food services are closed on both campuses. The Kansas City campus gym is closed.

As of March 20, 2020, the KCU Kansas City and Joplin campuses will be accessible only to essential personnel until further notice. Essential personnel will include the following:

    • Faculty members who require access to technology for the recording of lectures;
    • Campus safety and emergency management personnel; and 
    • A limited number of other approved employees.

During this interim period of time, no other faculty or staff will have access to the campuses unless they have been pre-approved by their Dean or their functional Vice-President and by Jim Herrington, the Director of Campus Operations. Additionally, any vendors who must be on campus to perform essential work must also be pre-approved by Jim Herrington.

FAQ for Applicants

KCU can accept P/F courses for science pre-requisite coursework but the transcript does need to show that a P grade is equivalent to a C or better. In some cases, KCU may be able to review this policy on a case-by-case basis. Coursework outside of pre-requisites are ok at a P/F option.

  • What if the school is giving the student the option to choose?
    If you have the option to continue to take the course with a grade, KCU would recommend you not take coursework at a P/F option.

  • What if the student is completing one or more of our prerequisites in one of these pass/fail classes?
    KCU can accept P/F courses for science pre-requisite coursework but the transcript does need to show that a P grade is equivalent to a C or better. In some cases, KCU may be able to review this policy on a case-by-case basis.

At this time, there is no delay on opening the AACOMAS application as scheduled at the beginning of May. Continue to check the AACOMAS website and KCU’s website for any changes to the upcoming cycle.

At this time, KCU does not have any plans to change MCAT requirements for applicants. As more information becomes available from the MCAT, we will update any changes to our requirements.

FAQ for Fall 2020 Admitted and Wait-Listed Students

You recently received a communication from the Executive Dean at Kansas City University for the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Vice President for Health Affairs, Dr. Darrin D’Agostino, providing guidance for your transition to Kansas City.

Just as KCU is adhering to academic year start dates, the University remains committed to offering you a comprehensive orientation experience beginning July 13.

It is essential for all OMS1 students to be in place in your campus community by July 13 so you can get settled into housing, self-isolate for 14 days, and be ready to go as soon as campus activities resume. Orientation will occur beginning the July 13. Mandatory, small-group in-person activities will most likely begin as early as July 27.

Orientation and Medical School 101 will commence on Monday, July 13 continuing through July 22. While local guidelines and protocols will not make it possible for us to all gather together in-person, we have carefully designed programming that will be delivered virtually and that will prepare you for a successful experience in medical school, help acclimate you to the KCU family and your new community, and introduce you to new classmates, faculty and staff who will serve as your support system in the years ahead. Additionally, Medical School 101 will provide invaluable exposure to pre-curricular learning and an opportunity to examine your learning style and develop strategies for academic success.

Participation in Orientation and Medical School 101 is required. A more detailed schedule will be available in the coming weeks.

White Coating Ceremony Update

The significance and importance of the White Coating Ceremony is a treasured tradition at KCU. The University is committed to maintaining the symbolic and sentimental nature of the event rather than conducting it virtually as some schools may choose to do. Therefore, KCU will delay the White Coating Ceremony until such time that we can gather in a single venue to celebrate this significant milestone in your journey toward becoming a physician.

We are beyond excited to welcome you to the KCU family and look forward to connecting July 13 through July 22 for Orientation and Medical School 101. Should you have any questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 816-654-7225 or stuservices@kcumb.edu.

At this time, we do not expect any changes to our waitlist process. As always, please make sure KCU has the most up-to-date email and phone number for you. You can email admissions@kcumb.edu. Communication about the waitlist will be coming in April/May as we see movement in our incoming class numbers.

KCU is aware that the current situation with COVID-19 may be causing a delay in your ability to complete the immunization requirements due by May 1st. We will work with students who this may have affected and will be monitoring the situation to determine if an extended due date will be enforced. At this time, if you have started this process but haven’t submitted documentation or paid for your immunization tracking we would encourage you to start so that our office can see the status of your immunization process, if possible. In order to reduce the chances for exposure and transmission of COVID-19, many of our staff are working remotely. During this time the best way to reach out with your questions will be by email. Please send your questions to admissions@kcumb.edu and we will respond as soon as we can.