KU Response Guide

The University of Kansas, in response to global and local concerns about pandemic influenza, has created a Pandemic Response Plan. The plan is consistent with the pandemic preparedness plans/guidelines of the World Health Organization, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Douglas County emergency response plans.

The purpose of the Pandemic Response Plan is to provide an outline/guide for timely and informed decision making as information regarding the unique aspects of an emerging pandemic becomes available.

  1. To save and protect lives and property.
  2. To insure institutional continuity and recovery.
  3. To identify necessary response outcomes and to provide a structure within which the leaders of the University can make decisions.

Pandemics are unique and unpredictable. Consequently, there is no way to know the characteristics of a pandemic virus before it emerges.

The following assumptions are, therefore, gleaned from a variety of sources of currently available information/guidance.

The University must consider the following unique aspects of a pandemic when responding to the "emergency":

  1. Slower onset.
  2. Extended event/Long term impact.
  3. Global/Community-wide impact.
    • The University will be working with community and public health officials to define and implement appropriate responses/decisions. See Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in United States.
    • Community/State/Federal resources will be profoundly overwhelmed and limited. Consequently, the University will need to depend on own resources
  4. Repeat of pandemic waves several times over a period of 1-2 years.
    • Each wave estimated to last 6-8 weeks.
    • Closure of campus 8-12 weeks (to include 2 incubation periods without further disease before outbreak declared to be over).
  5. The mortality rate is speculative but could be as high as 50-60%.
    • Young healthy adults may be hit hardest by the virus. Limited availability of effective pharmaceuticals and vaccine.
    • Federally funded programs to handle large numbers of fatalities will be overwhelmed. We will, therefore, need to work closely with our local emergency responders and coroner.
  6. The availability of staff and services will be significantly reduced (25-33%) due to:
    • Illness of staff and/or family.
    • Closure of schools/childcare services.
    • Restriction of travel.
  7. The availability of services/supplies will be significantly reduced due to prolonged:
    • Limitation of staff—high absenteeism.
    • Limitation of resources—change in patterns of commerce, interrupted supply and delivery.
    • Limitation of travel.
  8. In the event of class cancellation or campus closure, not all KU students will be able to go home. Housing and other basic life support services will need to be provided to:
    • Students who are ill.
    • Students who have been exposed.
    • Students who are unable to travel home (ex: international students, student who have no available transportation).
    • Students living in the community who are unable to provide basic life support services for themselves.
    • Disaster preparation and emergency response for people with disabilities
  9. In the absence of a vaccine and/or widely available medication, the most effective means of controlling the spread of the virus will be social distancing. For purposes of this plan, we have assumed the implementation of the Social Distancing Policy during WHO Phase 6.

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