UNK encourages students, others to limit contact after returning to Kearney

KEARNEY, Neb. - Students and others returning to the University of Nebraska at Kearney from out-of-state and international travel are being asked to self-quarantine for 14 days before or on their return to campus.

In a press release, UNK said, "Following recommendations from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, UNK students, faculty and staff who left Nebraska for spring break or other recent trips should limit public interactions, practice strict social distancing, self-monitor for symptoms and self-quarantine for 14 days."

Students should self-quarantine in their residence halls and will continue to have access to student academic and support services such as dining, while also social distancing.

UNK also expects all international travelers to self-quarantine.

Off-campus students, faculty and staff who have traveled are expected to stay off campus during their 14-day period.

“Returning travelers pose a serious risk of accelerating the spread of COVID-19 in our state,” said Dr. Gary Anthone, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “We are asking Nebraskans to limit unnecessary travel, and any returning travelers should assume that COVID-19 is present at the locations they have visited and traveled through.”

Everyone should assume they have already come into contact with COVID-19, said UNK and state health officials.

UNK said the virus is likely so widespread that tracing the specific number of infections and locations of cases is difficult and not a good use of testing and resources.

Self-quarantining means refraining from contact with people and removing yourself from situations where others could be exposed or infected. It also includes self-monitoring to identify if COVID-19 infection symptoms develop.

Those who self-quarantine and self-monitor can cease after 14 days if they develop no respiratory illness symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat and runny nose.

If a returning traveler develops fever or respiratory illness, they need to immediately self-isolate and report to a health care provider or local health department.

Self-isolation is when you have been instructed to separate yourself from others with the purpose of preventing the spread of the virus, including those within your home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an individual can stop self-isolation if it has been at least seven days since symptoms first appeared, the person has been free of a fever for at least 72 hours, and all other symptoms such as a cough have improved.

Individuals unable to observe the 14-day self-quarantine or who have concerning symptoms or questions about their health should contact UNK Student Health and Counseling at 308.865.8218 or unkhealth@unk.edu.

In an effort to control exposure to COVID-19, UNK last week advised students to move from campus residence halls.

There are 336 students currently occupying rooms on campus. If students have the wherewithal, UNK recommends that they not return to campus following spring break. Students may return to gather personal items.