Demobilizing our Lawrence Campus COVID-19 Unified Command structure
I am writing to let you know that the University of Kansas has demobilized its Lawrence Campus COVID-19 Unified Command, indicating that while COVID-19 is not gone from our lives, public health experts feel we have reached an endemic stage where the virus can be managed through normal everyday business practices.
Additionally, in recognition of the shift in the pandemic landscape, our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team has stopped meeting regularly.
These actions align with those taken by our community partners, including Douglas County, which ended its COVID-19 disaster declaration earlier in June and demobilized its own county-wide Unified Command Team. We will continue to monitor COVID-19 in consultation with these partners, and we will adjust should circumstances change in the future.
While the pandemic presented unprecedented challenges, our Unified Command and Pandemic Medical Advisory Team helped us address issues of the day and mitigate the impacts of the virus on campus and throughout the community. As I’ve said before, KU unquestionably was a leader among higher education institutions in developing effective strategies to prioritize safety while continuing operations in a rapidly changing environment.
It’s worth noting that the pandemic brought about changes and benefits that will remain with us, including expanded hybrid and remote work options, air purifiers in most common spaces, and a renewed emphasis on mental health support, engaging instruction and student outcomes. Furthermore, we’ve learned lessons and developed templates that will help us be prepared for future emergencies.
Of course, our response has required help from every member of our community. Each of you had to make significant adjustments to your life to ensure KU could keep fulfilling its mission. Each of you had to rethink how to continue your work in a remote or hybrid environment. And many of you provided us feedback and advocated for your beliefs at key moments. This took hard work, sacrifice and courage. I’ll forever be grateful for all you’ve done for KU and your fellow Jayhawks during these challenging times.
Douglas A. Girod