March 13, 2020
COVID-19 Update for KSRE
K-State President Myers issued a message through K-State Today recently about the steps the University will take to mitigate the risk of coronavirus spreading in order to protect the campus and local communities. We will follow the steps listed in his message, but because we work with a wide variety of people, we plan to be more cautious.
We feel it is our responsibility, as a research-based organization, to take this situation seriously. The concept of social distancing has been shown to slow a disease outbreak during times of concern with pandemics. This means we reduce the number of times and places that people gather in large numbers or spend extensive time together. By slowing the spread of the disease, medical facilities are better able to handle the demand, which saves lives in the long run.
We strongly recommend that local units incorporate the following:
- Extension events involving older adults between now and March 30 should be cancelled, postponed or moved to another format such as zoom. According to the CDC, older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease are at greater risk for getting very sick from this illness.
- We strongly encourage local units to cancel county, district, regional or statewide events involving more than 100 persons between now and March 30. For any other face-to-face meetings, contact your local health department for their recommendation about holding face-to-face meetings and events. We will continue to monitor the situation and determine whether it will be necessary to cancel events after March 30.
- Agent training events and other meetings between now and March 30 be postponed or moved to another format.
- Telecommuting may be an option for some employees. K-State has published initial guidance for relaxed policies. Employee requests must be submitted to the Local Unit/Regional Director for consideration.
We'll continue to monitor this situation and make adjustments as needed. If you have questions about specific issues you are facing that you don't think are covered by these guidelines, talk with your regional director or me to discuss further.
President Richard Myers issued additional guidance to students on returning to campus communities in a special issue of K-State Today.
Gregg Hadley, PhD.
Director for Extension
K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
1612 Claflin Road
Manhattan, Kansas 66506