Message from Chancellor: UNK actively monitoring evolving coronavirus situation


Doug Kristensen, UNK Chancellor

I want to report to campus and assure you in the UNK community that emergency operations team members are continuously monitoring the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and that the health and wellbeing of our community is our primary concern.

We have individuals working and communicating around the clock to adjust our planning, developing contingencies and possible responses during this rapidly changing landscape. That includes working with faculty to develop contingency plans that allow for the completion of spring semester courses, if necessary.

No formal restrictions have been placed on spring break travel by students, faculty or staff. But you should carefully consider whether your spring break travel plans put you at risk. We are discouraging any international travel you have planned for spring break. The health risk is too great. You may also find yourself unable to leave certain countries and return to the U.S.

We also ask that you be thoughtful about any personal travel to areas in the U.S. where cases have been reported. We encourage you to consider staying close to home, while also practicing good hygiene that includes washing your hands and avoiding close contact with sick people. If you are an individual who is at higher risk for serious illness from the virus, please take the advised precautions to avoid becoming ill. This may include isolating yourself and avoiding crowds altogether.

As a reminder, University of Nebraska policy currently restricts student, faculty and staff travel to mainland China, South Korea, Italy and Iran due to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travel advisories.

In addition, all university-sponsored student international travel that was to depart during the spring semester has been canceled. While we know this may come as a disappointment, we believe it’s important to do everything we can to protect the safety of our students and program leaders, particularly in the context of an uncertain and evolving global situation.

UNK’s leadership team is actively engaged in monitoring and planning with colleagues across the University of Nebraska system, including health experts at UNMC and Nebraska Medicine. A UNK website will be an ongoing source for up-to-date, accurate information about the coronavirus and our response. Students, faculty and staff should contact UNK Student Health and Counseling at 308.865.8218 or if you have concerning symptoms or questions about your health.

Thank you for all you are doing to protect your health and the health of the UNK community.

Doug Kristensen, Chancellor