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August 16, 2020: Reminders About COVID Policies + Procedures

Message from ESU Fall Planning Group

August 16, 2020

Dear ESU Students, Faculty and Staff,

As the first day of classes begins Monday, we wanted to give you one place for key information. You’ve already been told about these policies, but we hoped it would help to pull it together here.

Face mask policy

While on the ESU campus, you must wear a face mask in all buildings. You also must wear them outside when you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others. These are the exceptions:

Working along in your office.

In your own residence hall room — but not a friend’s room.

While participating in activities in which a face mask cannot be worn, or would prohibit respiratory function (like eating, drinking, playing a musical instrument or singing, playing sports)

If you have a recognized disability and have an accommodation that prevents the wearing of a mask.

ESU’s full policy is online.

In addition, the City of Emporia has a face mask policy so leaving campus does not mean you take your face mask off. The city’s full policy is online.

Social distancing

Emporia State follows the definition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends keeping a “social distance,” or physical distance, of at least 6 feet (about two arms’ lengths) from other people who are not from your household. “Your household” would include roommates who share a residence hall room.

CDC recommends this distance in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Daily self-assessment

When you wake up and get ready for your day, take a minute to do a self-assessment. This is available online at

Basically, ask yourself if you’ve been to a community where COVID-19 may be spreading, if you’ve had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, if you or someone you live with has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are waiting for test results and if you’ve traveled from somewhere outside the United States or been on a cruise ship or river boat.

After those questions, take stock of your physical condition, checking for fever, sore throat, headache, chills, difficulty breathing, congestion or runny nose, a new loss of taste or smell, coughing that is not allergies, shortness of breath, new onset of diarrhea, repeated shaking with chills, nausea or vomiting and muscle aches and pains.

If you have any of those symptoms, you should talk to your health care provider. Students: You may call the Student Wellness Center at 620.341.5222.

If you develop symptoms after you’ve left home — go back home (or to your residence hall room). Take your temperature. Stay isolated from others in your home (or your roommate). Call your health care provider (Student Wellness Center for students).

Talk to someone

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you are faculty or staff, you should notify your supervisor. They can help you determine how to cover your class or work that day. Human Resources ( can help you determine the appropriate type of leave to use.

If you are a student, you should contact Dr. Shelly Gehrke (, assistant provost for enrollment management and academic success. She can help you change to online classes while you have to isolate.

If you observe people not social distancing or wearing face masks

If they are ESU faculty or staff members, you can contact Human Resources ( Provide as much detail as you can (who you observed, when it was, where it was).

If they are students, you can contact the vice president of Student Affairs at Again, provide as much detail as you can.

Contact tracing

If you contract COVID-19, Public Health will conduct “contact tracing” to determine where and to whom you might have spread the virus before you found out you were contagious. They will not be trying to figure out where you caught it.

You can help by keeping track of what you’ve been doing. Even a student planner can be helpful to remember where you went and with whom you met.

If you have questions — and we all will at some point — please check our Return to Campus website: There we post all communication to campus plus the procedures and policies we’ve development. We also include Frequently Asked Questions.

Finally, faculty will find many resources in the Pandemic Response Considerations for Instructional Planning/Classroom Protocols. This comprehensive document includes information about types of instruction to offer, setting up the classroom, cleaning and disinfecting spaces and much more. View the full PDF document on this page.

As always our goal is to provide an on-campus semester while maintaining the health and safety of our university community. Working together is the best way forward.

Fall Planning Group