We are reaching out to provide an update on developments regarding the COVID-19 virus.

Lawrence health officials were notified on Sunday, March 22, that a parent who was on campus Thursday, March 19, to help their child move out has since tested positive for COVID-19. The parent was on campus for approximately 90 minutes (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) and helped with a student move-out in Hiett Hall. The parent may have had brief interactions with staff members who were assisting with check-out process, and two students also reported they may have been in contact with the parent. The interactions were limited. Lawrence was awaiting confirmed notification of everyone who may have been in the vicinity of the parent before sharing this information more broadly. That notification process is now complete.

Public health officials from the county in which the family lives will be in touch with all those who may have had contact and will provide further guidance. Our local health department believes this is a low-risk situation; however, in an abundance of caution, we thought it best to notify the Lawrence community at this time. If you believe you may have been in contact with the parent, please contact Lawrence’s Health Services office at 920-832-6574 or email wellnessservices@lawrence.edu.

We wish the parent involved a speedy recovery and the rest of the family good health. Our thoughts and good wishes are with everyone in our Lawrence community as we do all we can to help mitigate the spread of this virus while ensuring our commitment to Lawrence students, faculty, staff, and extended family remain intact. As the history of this infection shows, it is proving impossible to halt its spread. Our goal now is to help slow transmission and to ensure the health and safety of those Lawrentians who remain on campus.

Lawrence continues to limit access to campus and follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in cleaning and sanitizing shared spaces. That has included limiting as much as possible access to residence halls during student move-outs. Many facilities on campus are closed, while others have restricted access to allow for more regular cleaning of areas where there is less avoidable traffic. See details here.

Take steps to avoid becoming ill: As a reminder, the following recommendations from CDC can help limit the spread of the virus: 

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.) 
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

What to do if you think you might have COVID-19: Before going to your health care clinic, call your health care professional if you feel sick with fever, cough, or have difficulty breathing, AND have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19. If you are a member of faculty or staff, or a student living off-campus, this means your local health care professional. Students living on campus can reach out to Wellness Services. Your health care professional will work with your state’s public health department and CDC to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. Information on health services at Lawrence can be found at www.lawrence.edu/students/wellness/health.  

A reminder: Wellness Services-Health is available for consultation to students from campus or home Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If questions arise after-hours, call Nurse Direct (24-hour medical advice) at 920-738-2230. 

The University will continue to send updates as warranted. Also, please watch for updates on the COVID-19 news blog. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we adapt to this fluid environment.


Office of Communications, on behalf of the COVID-19 Management Team