COVID-19 News

Students, faculty and staff across the University of Kansas are actively engaged in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the region and society.

KU researchers developing quick-turnaround COVID-19 test

Sept. 29, 2020 — A University of Kansas team is repurposing “lab on a chip” technology — developed to give doctors simple tools to more easily and quickly diagnose conditions ranging from stroke to colon cancer —  to develop a quick-turnaround COVID-19 test that can be used at home. Read more

KU partnering with 3 Kansas counties to effectively use COVID relief funds for community needs

Sept. 23, 2020 — A diverse group of University of Kansas scholars, researchers, staff and students has been helping three Kansas counties — Johnson, Miami and Wilson – determine how to spend more than $44 million in federal COVID-19 funds by the end of 2020 to have a lasting influence. Read more

KU Medical Center to participate in clinical trial designed to speed the testing of COVID-19 outpatient treatments

Sept. 22, 2020 — The University of Kansas Medical Center will be participating in a unique nationwide clinical trial that will allow for the testing of multiple agents to fight COVID-19. Known as ACTIV-2 (Adapt Out COVID), this trial is part of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines effort announced by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this spring. Read more

Pilot grants launch new research projects to fight COVID-19 pandemic

Aug. 24, 2020 -- With support from the University of Kansas School of Medicine and the vice chancellor for research at the University of Kansas Medical Center, four investigators have launched new research projects designed to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

New publication examines ‘Food in the Time of COVID-19’

Aug. 18, 2020 -- Few processes have been as disrupted by the pandemic as simply eating a meal. A KU food historian is among the scholars behind “Food in the Time of COVID-19,” which details how those in the industry – from farmers and restaurant employees to home cooks and activists – are dealing with the pandemic. Read more

Researchers pivot from cancer and cystic fibrosis to test new drug for COVID-19 

Aug. 14, 2020 -- Cancer researcher Gregory Gan and cystic fibrosis researcher Deepika Polineni have begun enrolling patients in a clinical trial to evaluate a new investigational drug as a potential treatment to halt respiratory failure in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Read more

KU research into online security for public internet users expands to examine effects of COVID-19

July 30, 2020 -- A recent University of Kansas study found that while Kansas survey participants relied on multiple sources about reliable COVID-19 information, they tended to prefer local authorities and distrust social media. Read more

KUMC, Children's Mercy to offer clinical trial of AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19

July 29, 2020 -- While some institutions and organizations are just now fully embracing telehealth, the University of Kansas Medical Center is nearly 30 years into the journey, and the institution is helping its partner, The University of Kansas Health System, and others across Kansas, harness the innovation's power and possibilities. Read more

KU program tracing COVID-19 in wastewater provides early warning to Kansans of virus spread

July 22, 2020 -- The School of Engineering and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have expanded a project to detect COVID-19 virus in the wastewater systems of local communities across the state. The original project launched this spring looked for evidence of the virus in a dozen Kansas communities. This summer, that roster has expanded to 18 communities, including some in western Kansas. Read more

Researchers join with Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health to monitor and evaluate COVID-19 response

July 8, 2020 -- A team from the Center for Community Health and Development has partnered with Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health and other community organizations to track and assess the countywide public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Study gauges how Kansans get information on COVID-19, how they assess risk

June 30, 2020 -- A recent University of Kansas study found that while Kansas survey participants relied on multiple sources about reliable COVID-19 information, they tended to prefer local authorities and distrust social media. Read more

KU Medical Center helps expand use of telehealth during pandemic and beyond

June 24, 2020 -- While some institutions and organizations are just now fully embracing telehealth, the University of Kansas Medical Center is nearly 30 years into the journey, and the institution is helping its partner, The University of Kansas Health System, and others across Kansas, harness the innovation's power and possibilities. Read more

Lab in KU Medical Center incubator switches to coronavirus test to meet community need

June 11, 2020 -- Sinochips Diagnostics, a private laboratory operating on the campus of the University of Kansas Medical Center, is performing a critical service as one of 27 laboratories in Kansas running diagnostic tests for the virus fueling the pandemic. Read more

KU researchers lead effort to monitor, evaluate COVID-19 response in 47 African countries

June 9, 2020 -- The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa is partnering with KU’s Center for Community Health and Development to capture and communicate COVID-19 response activities, such as programs and policies related to infection-control and risk communication. Read more

KU, CVKey Project to pilot new app developed to assist communities with reopening responsibly

June 4, 2020 -- As the University of Kansas begins to reopen parts of campus, it will participate in a pilot project to test a health verification mobile app called CVKey. The app allows users to conduct a self-assessment of their COVID-19 health status at home and then generate a QR code to verify their access to campus buildings. Read more

Drug therapy recently authorized under emergency-use protocol for COVID-19 contains crucial ingredient from KU

June 1, 2020 -- When the Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization for the investigational pharmaceutical remdesivir to treat COVID-19 on May 1, in part it was due to pioneering work performed by pharmaceutical chemists at the School of Pharmacy in 1990. Today, KU graduates still hold important jobs at the firms producing and distributing the potentially life-saving therapy. Read more

Study shows vulnerable populations with less education more likely to believe, share misinformation

May 19, 2020 -- As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens public health around the world, misinformation regarding its treatment, causes and cures has abounded. A KU study found that vulnerable populations, often those most severely affected by such crises, are also at a high risk of consuming and sharing such misinformation online, while also struggling to assess information’s credibility. Read more

Research associate creates face shields on KU Medical Center printer

May 15, 2020 -- Christopher Neal used the 3D printer in the Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center to make around 100 headbands for face shields to PPE for KC, a local maker group constructing and dispersing protective equipment for health care professionals. Read more

High tech connects scattered piano majors to campus, instructors

May 14, 2020 -- When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the University of Kansas campus in March, the piano teachers in the School of Music turned to a technological solution that they say has been a low-cost “lifeline” for students stranded in various places across the country. Read more

KU researchers harnessing power of stories to help Kansans navigate pandemic

May 11, 2020 -- KU’s Center for Public Partnerships & Research has reactivated Our Tomorrows to understand how Kansans are responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Information gathered through the statewide story bank is being shared in real time with decision-makers. Read more

KU Cancer Center pivots to protect patients and trial participants in COVID-19 era

May 7, 2020 -- The research arm of the KU Cancer Center stepped up to allow patients to opt-in to a study that provided the test in recent weeks and also covered its cost. It is just one of the many ways the KU Cancer Center is working to fight the pandemic. Read more

KU, KDHE partner to trace COVID-19 in wastewater treatment plants

May 4, 2020 -- The School of Engineering and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are teaming up on an experiment to determine if the COVID-19 virus can be detected in the wastewater systems of Kansas communities. Read more

KU respiratory therapy students graduate early to help during coronavirus pandemic

May 4, 2020 -- Thirteen of the 22 seniors in the respiratory therapy program in the University of Kansas School of Health Professions have chosen to graduate early to help fend off the shortage of professionals in the field. Read more

Researchers model efforts to control coronavirus pandemic with new NSF RAPID award

April 30, 2020 -- A University of Kansas team is developing mathematical models to project how an array of interventions to stem the spread of COVID-19 might succeed or fall short in “flattening the curve.” Their work is unique because it accounts for human behavior. Read more

Medical students volunteer, give back to Wichita community amid pandemic

April 27, 2020 -- Several KU School of Medicine-Wichita students volunteered to assist with child care for Wichita health care professionals. Some fourth-year medical students received permission to graduate early to join the Kansas Pandemic Volunteer Workforce. Others have been delivering Meals on Wheels across Wichita. Read more

KU Law pop-up clinic to offer free legal services to health care workers

April 27, 2020 -- Under the umbrella of the KU School of Law’s Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP), the Advance Care Planning Clinic will help workers complete vital legal documents. Read more

KUMC delivers COVID-19 information to Kansas City’s Spanish-speaking population

April 22, 2020 -- The JUNTOS Center for Advancing Latino Health at KU Medical Center, whose mission is to eliminate health disparities in under-served Latino communities in Kansas, is working to deliver COVID-19 information to these communities in their native language. Read more

School of Engineering produces personal protective equipment to aid health care workers

April 22, 2020 -- KU Engineering is innovating to design alternative equipment based on the need and the constraints — such as raw materials — to make them more comfortable and easier to use for longer durations. Read more

Talks feature experts on disease modeling and policy-making

April 22, 2020 -- "Mapping a Virus: From Understanding a Species to Writing Policy on COVID-19" is a collaboration among The Commons, the KU Biodiversity Institute and the Institute for Policy & Social Research. The series is accessible through four videos online followed by a live conversation with the presenters on April 28. Watch

Podcast: Coronavirus was not engineered in a lab

April 14, 2020 -- This "When Experts Attack!" episode is another interview with coronavirus researcher Anthony Fehr, who helps dispel more misinformation about the virus. Listen

KUMC to participate in clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine in health care workers

April 13, 2020 -- The trial, the Healthcare Worker Exposure Response and Outcomes of Hydroxychloroquine (HERO HCQ), will launch April 22. It is a phase-3 double-blinded clinical trial, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Read full story

Project to reduce restaurant food waste continues during COVID-19 crisis

April 13, 2020 -- Once restaurant business returns, KU researchers are poised take national a project aiming to reduce food waste and food insecurity, which is coming into sharper focus as jobs disappear during the pandemic. Read full story

Researchers donate protective equipment to KU Health System

April 8, 2020 -- Researchers from the University of Kansas Medical Center donated much-needed equipment to help their colleagues at The University of Kansas Health System currently caring for patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. Read full story

KU medical students to graduate early, help COVID-19 response in rural Kansas

April 3, 2020 -- More than 50 University of Kansas medical students are graduating early to participate in a program that will deploy them throughout the state to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The program will allow seniors to serve in areas of “critical need" before their residencies start in July at various locations throughout the country. Read full story

Autism and interrupted routines: KU offers advice for families, caregivers

April 2, 2020 -- The sudden change to daily life in response to the spread of COVID-19 can be difficult for anyone, but for someone who has autism spectrum disorder, it can be an extraordinary disruption. University of Kansas researchers will offer a webinar for families on April 10, “Managing the Coronavirus as an Individual with ASD or Caregiver.” Read full story

KU team creates open-source design for plastic face shield

April 1, 2020 -- The KU Center for Design Research has developed an open-source design for a plastic face shield to help protect health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic. In just a few days, it has been freely downloaded around the world more than 4,500 times. And 10,000 of the shields already produced locally will soon be available to caregivers in The University of Kansas Health System. Read full story

Designers have been planning for outbreaks for years

March 31, 2020 -- Who could have foreseen the tragic consequences of the novel coronavirus pandemic that threatens to overwhelm America’s hospital system, and in particular, emergency departments? A lot of folks, including Frank Zilm, University of Kansas professor of architecture & design, who has worked on the problem for nearly two decades, and whose Institute of Health and Wellness Design exists to ponder such questions. Read full story

KU creates general emergency fund as part of COVID-19 response

March 20 -- As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the Jayhawk community, many people are wondering what they can do to help. In response, KU Endowment is establishing a COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund. Read full story

KU Institute for Policy and Social Research releases COVID-19 webinar series

Professor Donna Ginther and Institute for Policy & Social Research staff released a series of videos on “Kansas in Crisis.” These videos present data surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, including historical comparisons to the 1918 influenza pandemic, policy strategies for reducing spread, and the effects of the pandemic on the economy. View the series


From students to alumni to staff and beyond, Jayhawks are rising to the challenges of the pandemic.

For Kansans: A private laboratory on KUMC's campus is one of 27 Kansas laboratories running diagnostic tests for COVID-19. Through remote learning, the KU Midwestern Music Camp reached nearly 1,000 Kansas musicians and nearly 1,000 other students from around the globe. The School of Engineering and the Kansas Department of Health & Environment are teaming up to test wastewater for the presence of COVID-19 in local communities. The Center for Public Partnerships and Research is capturing Kansans’ stories of coping with the pandemic now to inform tomorrow’s policies. Research departments across KU donated COVID-19 testing supplies to the Kansas Department of Health & Environment. The Institute for Policy & Social Research is tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the state. The KU School of Law is offering free legal services to essential workers in health care settings.

For K-12 schools and parents: Lessons about earthquakes from the Kansas Geological Survey and a video about frogs from the Kansas Biological Survey are available to anyone online. Teams with Ci3T, led by KU researcher Kathleen Lane, are developing materials to support educators and families make the transition to schooling online. Additionally, the Dole Institute of Politics is providing free online educational programs.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs: Will Katz, director of the KU Small Business Development Center, is helping small business owners navigate Small Business Administration loan programs. The Spencer Museum of Art and partners are providing $120,000 in emergency aid for artists adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

For professionals: The School of Architecture & Design helped the American Institute of Architects create a searchable resource to support development of alternative care sites that support pandemic response.

For patrons: While galleries and exhibitions are closed, KU's museums are open for business. The Natural History Museum from Home and Spencer Art at Home are taking curators and researchers off campus. The Lied Center is streaming concerts.

For our community: The KU Medical Center is delivering COVID-19 information in Spanish to Kansas City communities. The School of Pharmacy mixed and distributed 200 bottles of hand sanitizer for local health and child care workers. The Departments of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences donated equipment to area health agencies. The Center for Community Outreach is giving away free fabric to volunteers who want to make and donate face masks. The Community Tool Box put together resources for public health and community action. The KU Medical Center is delivering COVID-19 information to Spanish-speaking communities in and around Wyandotte County.

Advice from the Experts

KU subject-matter specialists offer tips on dealing with the pandemic.

Leadership Daily from KU: 15-minute webcasts to enhance professional skills
Lee Stuart, KU Professional & Continuing Education

Advice for small businesses during the pandemic
Will Katz, Kristina Mease and Taylor LaRue, KU Small Business Development Center

Learning, teaching from home during COVID-19
Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Five lessons to help you move your conference online
Stacy Cordell, KU Professional & Continuing Education

Autism Spectrum Disorder and interrupted routines: Advice for families and caregivers
Rene Jamison, KUMC Center for Child Health and Development in Pediatrics

Learning at home: Five tips for success
Ci3T Strategic Leadership Team

Social Media
KU Experts

KU researchers are available to media to speak to their expertise in various areas related to COVID-19 and the global response.

Anthony Fehr, Department of Molecular Biosciences
Expert on coronaviruses, anti-viral measures

Joe Walden, School of Business
Expert on supply chain challenges

Donna Ginther, Institute for Policy & Social Research
Expert on economic impact on Kansas

Jeffrey Hall, Department of Communication Studies
Expert on changing patterns of communication during pandemic 

Bradley Lane, School of Public Affairs and Administration
Expert on the consequences of reduced travel during the pandemic

Raj Bhala, School of Law
Expert on international trade law and policy amid COVID-19

James Basham and Sean Smith, Department of Special Education
Expert on online education, instructional models, and educational technology for students with disabilities

Christopher Perreira, Department of American Studies
Expert on race, racism and communicable disease in public health discourse

Frank Zilm, School of Architecture & Design
Expert on hospital and health care facility design

Minyoung Kim, School of Business
Expert on implications of uncertainty in business decisions
Scott Reinardy, School of Journalism 
Expert on financial challenges and stresses the pandemic is placing on already struggling news outlets
Stephen Ilardi, Department of Psychology
Expert on depression and author of "The Depression Cure"
Expert on economics of health care and hospitalization
Experts in the News

National media outlets are using KU experts to provide information and perspective on the pandemic.

The San Francisco Chronicle: SARS antibodies block coronavirus infections, study shows
Anthony Fehr, Department of Molecular Biosciences

The Wall Street Journal: Rethinking the hospital for the next pandemic
Frank Zilm, School of Architecture & Design

Financial Times: US university to trial COVID-19 checker app linked to campus access
Brian McClendon, School of Engineering

The New York Times: Monster or Machine? A Profile of the Coronavirus at 6 Months
Anthony Fehr, Department of Molecular Biosciences

The Irish Times: Science and the humanities in the time of pandemic
Kathryn Conrad, Department of English

Houston Chronicle: Experts offer input on the safety of outdoor graduations during pandemic
Anthony Fehr, Department of Molecular Biosciences

MarketWatch: How coronavirus will transform K-12 schools in the fall
Yong Zhao, School of Education

Business Insider: 'Cytokine storms' that cause the body to attack itself might be a key factor in deadly coronavirus cases
Anthony Fehr, Department of Molecular Biosciences

Inside Higher Ed: Protecting art in college collections
Saralyn Reece Hardy, Spencer Museum of Art

U.S. News & World Report: College class of 2020 will graduate into wobbly economy
Donna Ginther, Department of Economics and Institute for Policy & Social Research

Axios: Medical students graduate early to join coronavirus front lines
Fourth-year students, School of Medicine

The Los Angeles Times: Too many ‘shiny objects’: Why it’s risky to promise a coronavirus vaccine and cure
Anthony Fehr, Department of Molecular Biosciences

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Pandemic puts Americans' patience, flexibility to the test
Jerome Dobson, Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science

Kirk McClure, School of Public Affairs & Administration

Wired: Hospitals quickly reshape to treat COVID-19 patients
Frank Zilm, School of Architecture & Design

CNN: Artists may need a Depression-era jobs program today
Maryemma Graham, Departments of English and African American & African American Studies

National Public Radio "The Takeaway"
Sean Smith, Department of Special Education

Roll Call: Technology to track COVID-19 raises fears of mass surveillance
William Staples, Department of Sociology

Forbes: Your property taxes are likely still due; but your lender might have you covered
David Simon, School of Law

International Business Times: Hunger for 'good news' grows as pandemic woes deepen
Ashley Muddiman, Department of Communication Studies

Axios: Tracking epidemics from space
Towne Peterson, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Quartz: Congress approved $350 billion for small business. Where’s the money?
Will Katz, School of Business

Forbes: Protect healthcare workers: 3D printer groups race to help 2020 PPE shortage
Greg Thomas, School of Architecture & Design

PBS NewsHour: The switch to remote learning could leave students with disabilities behind
Sean Smith, Department of Special Education