Coronavirus Updates & Resources
Baker University continues to closely monitor developments in the outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The college’s multidisciplinary COVID-19 Readiness Taskforce is meeting regularly to assess the situation and plan for impacts to our campus community.
First and foremost, we want to maintain safe campuses and encourage and adopt practices that protect the health of students, faculty, staff, and the community. We also want to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of a pandemic. We are taking proactive steps to address a number of concerns.
Update of August 26
Campus Mask Policy
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently raised Douglas County, Kansas, to a “High Alert” status regarding the level of community transmission of COVID-19 being observed. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view . There is some concern in our state and our county regarding the pandemic.
Due to this high alert status, everyone, regardless of vaccine status, must wear a mask in academic buildings, Collins Library, and Osborne Chapel. This takes effect immediately. Staff and faculty may take off their masks when in their offices in the academic buildings, the library, and the chapel. Our scholar-athletes are exempt from mask wearing during practice in Mabee Gym and while in the Mabee weight room. Students and faculty should wear masks in the classroom in the NLC (room 205).
This mask requirement will stand until the CDC alert status changes. At that time, we will revisit the policy.
Rely on accurate sources of news and information about the virus.
BU Emergency Relief Fund
Update of July 21 – Return-to-campus protocol for students
The university has learned a great deal over the last year, and our improved knowledge has informed our plans for the 2021-22 school year. Protocols have been established for students who are fully vaccinated according to the definition developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other protocols affect students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
Prior to August 1, 2021
Students are requested to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination through this online form before arrival on campus. This includes athletes who have already provided proof of vaccination to Sports Medicine. Students who do not submit the verification form by August 1, will be assumed to be unvaccinated or partially vaccinated (UPV) until documentation shows otherwise.
Please keep in mind that we are subject to state and local mandates that could disrupt these plans,
Baker will hold two free vaccine clinics in Mabee Gym on August 9 and Collins Gym August 30 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Travel Guidance & Reporting
Given the rapidly evolving situation with regard to COVID-19, the Baker community is encouraged to carefully consider nonessential international travel. We encourage you to check the World Health Organization (WHO) website for travel advisories as well as the CDC’s website for travel advisories and their FAQs for travelers. Depending on your destination, you may have to make the difficult decision to change or cancel plans to ensure your own well-being and timely return to Baker.
If you are traveling to areas affected by COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to reconsider your plans because of potential quarantine in either that country or when you return to the United States. This could severely affect your plans and delay your return home.
No matter where you are traveling, if you have an underlying medical conditions, please discuss all travel with your health care provider.
What You Can Do
COVID-19 is a virus that causes symptoms similar to other respiratory illnesses, such as the flu. Symptoms may appear from 2 to 14 days after exposure and range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
Your risk of getting COVID-19 depends on where you are, where you’ve traveled recently, your age (people over 65 are at greater risk) and whether you have a preexisting or chronic health condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease like asthma. The CDC recommends calling your doctor immediately if you have concerning symptoms and have recently traveled to an area that has ongoing cases of the virus, or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus.
Taking preventive steps is key in preventing the spread of infection.
Here are a few reminders:
- Stay home when you are sick! (Currently, the CDC recommends that people remain home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever or signs of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.)
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Do not share food or drinks, eating utensils, or smoking devices with others.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect shared surfaces and frequently touched objects.
- Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu symptoms.
- Cover a cough or sneeze with your forearm or a tissue and then throw away the tissue.
- Avoid people who are sick with respiratory symptoms.
- Practice social distancing if you or the other person is infected. View guidelines.
- Practice healthy habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
- If traveling, wipe your airplane seat, tray, and arm rests with disinfectant wipes.
- If traveling, remain in your hotel or resort if you are sick, and seek medical care as needed.