Campus Health Information

Return to the Rock

Return to the Rock

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rockhurst University’s Pathways Planning Task Force has developed, in coordination with local and national health authorities, a dynamic set of protocols aimed at allowing in-person campus activities to resume in the fall 2020 semester.

Please note that in the spirit of “cura personalis,” or care for the whole person, the University asks that all members of the Rockhurst community help take responsibility for the continued well-being of campus by following requirements regarding mask-wearing, hand washing and sanitizing, social distancing and illness reporting. The measures outlined in the Return to the Rock plan were designed to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19 and to promote the health of those living, working, learning and teaching on our campus. Please note, however, that despite a wide and dynamic range of protocols being put into place and significant resources dedicated to keeping the community safe and virus transmission low, this plan and its guidelines do not represent a guarantee related to exposure to or acquisition of COVID-19.

See someone or a group not following mask wearing or social distancing guidelines? Remind them of the requirements on campus. Incidents of repeated, blatant disregard for mask wearing or social distancing guidelines by members of the University community can be brought to the attention of the appropriate staff through the policy violation form or, if names of those in violation are unknown, by contacting campus security.

Because awareness is pivotal in maintaining the health of campus, the University requests that anyone who is experiencing new or unexplained symptoms possibly related to COVID-19 (see “Should I report to the University if I have the symptoms related to COVID-19?” in the FAQ below) or has been exposed to someone with the virus (see “Should I report to the University if I have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?” in the FAQ) to submit this form:

Illness and Exposure Reporting Form 


Positive and Quarantined Cases    

We are currently Level 3 (Orange) out of four levels, which simply means there is one or more active cases on campus.  

The number of Kansas City community infections this week is similar to last week (6,873 new cases) and the percent of available ICU beds increased slightly (17% to 20%). Within our RU community, there were decreases or stabilization on the Troost campus within our undergraduate population and in residence halls, while undergraduate cases on the Westport campus, graduate students, and faculty and staff cases have increased.  

As of Nov. 17    

Troost Campus  

Undergraduate Students  

Graduate Students  


Total Population  




Active Positive Cases/percentage  










Westport Campus  

Undergraduate Students  

Graduate Students  


Total Population  




Active Positive Cases/percentage  









*Nine of the undergraduate positive cases are in University residential facilities. The number of beds available on campus for isolation is 45 and the number of occupied beds is 11. 


  • COVID Active: tested positive for COVID; isolated
  • Quarantined: had close contact with a COVID-positive person; possibly being tested
  • Close Contact: You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more; You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19; You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them); You shared eating or drinking utensils; They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you



Campus Operations and Facilities

What steps are being taken to ensure campus health?

Rockhurst University’s Pathways Planning Task Force continues to consult with the Kansas City Health Department, Kansas City Mayor’s Office, MRI Global, Saint Luke’s Health System and other specialists to develop protocols to facilitate our safe return to campus.

First, all University students and staff will be required to complete an initial virtual course on COVID-19 precautions and protocols. 

Changes have also been made to campus facilities to accommodate social distancing requirements. Plastic shields have been installed in work areas where frequent in-person interactions take place. Students, faculty and staff are asked to actively monitor their own health each day, and self-quarantine and seek medical evaluation and treatment if they experience any of any of the following new or unexplained symptom: shortness of breath, cough, fever (100.4 degrees or greater), chills, fatigue, muscle aches and/or pain, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea and or vomiting, diarrhea, or  new loss of taste or smell. The University is researching use of a phone app that assists with this daily process of self-evaluation. Non-contact, wall-mounted thermometers will be installed in various locations across campus for self-evaluation, though it is recommended that each student possess and use their own thermometer. A kit, containing two cloth masks and hand sanitizer, will be issued to all students.

University facilities personnel will put in place enhanced cleaning protocols and common areas and high-touch areas will be cleaned twice daily by facilities. Employee offices and cubicle areas will be cleaned nightly by facilities.

Critically, students, faculty and staff will also be required to take steps to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus, including maintaining social distancing at all times and following proper handwashing and sanitizing protocols. Mask wearing will be required within University buildings and recommended outside where possible (see question below for more guidance). Meetings should be conducted virtually unless considered critical.

Will there be requirements for social distancing or mask wearing on campus?

Yes. Masks or facial coverings are required when in indoor spaces on campus and when outdoors but unable to observe social distancing. Masks or facial coverings are not required when eating or when exercising outdoors (given adequate social distancing), when alone in one’s residential room or office, or with an approved exemption from the Office of Human Resources (employees) or Disability Resource Center (students). Students, faculty and staff will also be expected to observe six feet of social distance in shared areas, and adjustments will be made to campus furniture to promote observation of these guidelines. Social student gatherings are limited to 10 people or fewer.

Is the University requiring students, faculty and staff to monitor their own health? How and how often?

Yes. The University is implementing an application called Campus Clear, available for free on both Android and iPhone phones and as a desktop application, as a way for the campus community to check their health daily. Students, faculty and staff will be required to complete a daily self-screening for symptoms and exposure before coming to campus and are required to report being in close contact with a COVID positive person, being symptomatic (resulting in a red screen on Campus Clear), or receiving a positive test result on a COVID test. Those who are considered cleared will receive a green “fast pass” through the app, allowing them access to campus buildings. Those who receive a "red" screen should report their symptoms through the illness and exposure reporting form — failure to do so will lead to disciplinary actionm as will any false reports of illness by students or employees will also lead to disciplinary consequences.

How will Campus Dining Services adjust their operations to accommodate social distancing requirements?

Seating in dining areas will be reserved in an effort to accommodate primarily commuter students (i.e. those who must eat in the Thomas More Dining Room). The University will be also adding additional seating for eating and other purposes via three tents – located by the Perch, the Einstein’s deck and the pergola near the Kinerk Commons.

Food will be served by Rockhurst Dining Services employees in “to-go” containers and University employees will be encouraged to eat in their offices. Seating in dining areas will be primarily reserved for commuter students and only two guests will be allowed per table in dining areas. Meal plans will be adjusted to reflect this new method of delivery. Hawk dollars will be added to most plans to enhance the dining experience and options.

How will residence halls accommodate new requirements?

Residence halls will be open at normal capacity, but adjustments will be made to promote social distancing requirements in shared areas.

Furniture has been moved out of common spaces in residence halls to promote social distancing. 

Residence life and facilities staff have also taken the following extra efforts to mitigate opportunities for spread:

  • Installed signage in bathrooms that only every other sink be used.
  • Exhaust fans have been set to run 24 hours a day to maximize air circulation in shared bathroom spaces.
  • Two dry hydrogen peroxide units will be added to each wing or floor of the University’s residence halls to help sanitize and remove contaminants — a measure approved for efficacy by MRI Global.
  • Added cleaning staff in all residence halls. As a result, each hall will have cleaning staff on site from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week, a significant increase from normal coverage. Bathrooms will be deep cleaned each night seven days a week and will be disinfected no fewer than an additional two times per day using an electrostatic sprayer. Cleaning staff will also use an electrostatic sprayer in stairwells and common areas.  

Residence Life staff plan to set aside two wings of two floors to quarantine exposed individuals if needed and are reserving approximately 15 rooms with private bathrooms to isolate those suspected or confirmed of having COVID-19.  

Students living in Townhouse Village, On-Campus Houses, Rock Row and Kateri Community are not allowed to have visitors. No one other than the residents assigned to their unit/house may be in those units. Residents may host a guest outside or in the THV community center.

Students living in Xavier-Loyola, McGee, and Corcoran halls are allowed to host outside guests in the lobby only. No outside guests are allowed on the floors. For the current level, students within the building are allowed also to visit each other. Adherence to mask wearing and social distancing protocols expected. No more than four people will be allowed in a room at any time.

Residence Life will place additional limits on guests within the residence halls in the event of increasing cases. 

Students who have medical conditions that place them at greater risk may request disability accommodation from the residential living requirement (i.e. freshmen and sophomores) through the Disability Resource Center.

Will campus athletic and exercise facilities such as the MAC be open?

The MAC (Magis Activity Center) is open as of Monday, Aug. 31, for the University Community. The facility will be open from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., with a cleaning from 1-3 p.m., and will then reopen from 3-7 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Saturdays and Sundays, the facility will be open from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be additional requirements for those who use the facility, in accordance with both best practices and guidance from the CDC and local health authorities:

  • Waivers must be signed by each student & faculty/staff at the check-in desk.
  • Temperature checks are required at the check-in desk for entry, as well as showing the green campus clear screen.
  • Masks are required when working out (per CDC guidelines and the KC Health Department).
  • Max capacity of 40. Once that number is reached, users must wait for a guest to leave the workout floor before entering.
  • Students, faculty and staff must still swipe in and swipe out of the MAC.
  • It is mandatory to wipe down equipment after usage.
  • Please bring your own yoga/stretch mat if needed.
  • Please bring your own water bottle. Only the bottle filling stations will be available.
  • Please use the hand sanitation stations provided; avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Maintain 6 feet of social distance when using the weights and machines. No circuit training allowed.
  • Every other cardio machine will be blocked off to create social distancing.
  • There will be extra cleaning done in all areas of the MAC. Besides the clients wiping down each piece of equipment following usage, the staff will be cleaning workout equipment throughout the day.  
  • Per CDC guidelines and the KC Health Department, the showers will be off-limits at this time. The restrooms will be available.
  • Aerobics and Beach Body classes will be limited to 10 people per class. There will be designated markings on the floor for individuals to maintain adequate social distancing.
  • The MAC Staff will complete the Campus Clear app and temperature check prior to each shift. The staff will wear masks.

Because it is an unsupervised facilty, the Weight Room in Massman Hall will remain closed to students, faculty and staff at this time. Beginning Sept. 8, the Massman weight room will be used by athletic teams only. Each team will have times for scheduled strength and conditioning and with the supervision of a strength and conditioning coach (or designated coach). Only those coaches will have swipe access to the facility. The following other requirements will be in place:

  • The strength & conditioning coaches will conduct Campus Clear and temperature checks prior to each workout.
  • Student-athletes are required to wear a mask while exercising in the Massman Fitness Center, per CDC guidelines and the KC Health Department.
  • Coaches are required to wear masks.
  • The strength coaches have learned the proper cleaning protocols and they will instruct the student-athletes. The weight room will also be cleaned between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and in the evening.
  • Equipment will be wiped down after each use with supplied disinfectant.
  • Hand-washing on a regular basis with supplied hand sanitation stations is recommended.
  • Student-athletes will maintain social distancing.
  • Maximum occupancy is 30.

All of the above requirements, restrictions and hours are subject to change depending on best practices or guidance.

Will visitors be allowed on campus and in residence halls?

Students living in Townhouse Village, On-Campus Houses, Rock Row and Kateri Community are not allowed to have visitors. No one other than the residents assigned to their unit/house may be in those units. Residents may host a guest outside or in the THV community center.

Students living in Xavier-Loyola, McGee, and Corcoran halls are allowed to host outside guests in the lobby only. No outside guests are allowed on the floors. For the current level, students within the building are allowed also to visit each other. Adherence to mask wearing and social distancing protocols expected. No more than four people will be allowed in a room at any time.

Residence Life will place additional limits on guests within the residence halls in the event of increasing cases. 

Will events or gatherings be allowed on campus? What about off-campus gatherings?

Yes. Events will be allowed on campus, provided guests can adhere to six-foot-social distancing and 50-percent capacity requirements outlined by authorities in the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

Regarding off-campus events, in light of the pandemic and significant challenges we’ve seen at other campuses, Rockhurst is implementing the following policy specifically regarding off-campus social gatherings:

Gatherings limited to 10 people or less.
When possible have your event outside.
Keep physical distancing of 6 feet or more.
Wear a mask inside and outside if under 6 feet from another person.
Wash your hands regularly with hot water and soap; have hand sanitizer available if hot water and soap is not.
Dispense food and beverages in such a way that doesn’t use common sources or utensils.

Should individuals be found in violation of this policy by attending or hosting a social gathering of over 10 people, they will be subject to disciplinary action – including, but not limited to fines, disciplinary probation levels impacting co-/extra-curricular involvement and/or leadership, and suspension or expulsion. Following these policies will be critical in order to remain on campus for the semester. Larger gatherings, particularly where the density of people is high and health protocols are not being followed, are especially dangerous.

Are faculty and staff expected to return to campus full-time?

Rockhurst employees will return to campus with a phased approach beginning July 13. Department leaders will discuss specifics with their direct reports. These requirements are subject to change as circumstances continue to evolve. Employees who are unable to return to campus should contact Human Resources to request an accommodation at Find a more complete list of frequently asked questions here.



What is the online course attendance policy?

Effective Fall 2020 Semester

Regular engagement with online course materials, peers, and faculty is essential to student success in an online course. Federal regulations require instructors to confirm student attendance within the first week of the class along with regular attendance updates throughout the academic term.

Online students are expected to meet the same attendance policy and procedures as those attending face-to-face courses. Participation, however, is defined differently for online courses than face-to-face courses. 

For the purposes of verifying attendance, faculty are required to have academic related activities for students to complete or participate in each week. The following items are considered examples of “academic related activities” for the purpose of this policy.

  • Participating in an assigned online activity
  • Attending a synchronous online class session meeting
  • Submitting a gradable assignment, prepared responses to an online assignment, including draft material
  • Taking an online exam/quiz, including a video quiz
  • Participating in an online class discussion forum
  • Completing activities related to interactive tutorials or to other computer-assisted instruction
  • Participating in an assigned online student group activity
  • Documentable discussion, interaction, and discourse between student and faculty member on the academic subject matter covered in the course

The following items are not considered as evidence for verifying attendance

  • A student’s login into a course’s learning management system as participation in that course as attendance
  • A student’s activity log of viewing course pages within the learning management system

Students’ absences must be reported by instructors according to the Rockhurst University roster check procedure during the first week of class. 

In an effort to support student success, instructors should also report lack of attendance or other academic activity to the appropriate University contact for the Student Success Network as per the current “early alert” procedures, as set by the Associate Provost for Student Success.

How will the schedule for the fall semester be adjusted?

In-person, on-campus courses are scheduled to begin on Monday, Aug. 24. However, changes are planned to the fall semester in the interest of reducing travel-related risk of COVID-19 spread on campus. The two days of fall break will be rescheduled to the week of Thanksgiving — Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 23-24 — to allow students to have the entire week of Thanksgiving off with their families. (Wednesday, Nov. 25, was already scheduled as a day without classes). Residence halls will close to most students on Friday, Nov. 20, and most students (except for those who have courses or experiences that require in-person instruction or other activities) will complete the last week of instruction after Thanksgiving and then take their finals remotely the following week.

I need help with my studies — what resources will be available?

The University will have several options available for students in need of academic assistance. The Greenlease Library has online support and resources, the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center offers instructional support and tutoring for students. Students with specific accessibility-related needs should contact the Disability Resource Center.

Will there be remote or online course options?

In addition to the regularly available online and remote course options, the University will also modify the instructional methodology of courses with too many students to adequately socially distance in a classroom to be a combination of online learning and face-to-face learning. This will require splitting the face-to-face portion of the class into two to three sessions.


General FAQ

How will the University share information on an ongoing basis?

The University will send communication to students, faculty and staff via email. This page will also be updated with the latest information and communication as it becomes available.

Should I report to the University if I have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?

Yes. The University is requesting that any member of the campus community who meet the following criteria should submit that information using this form:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes.
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19.  
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (touched, hugged, or kissed them).  
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils. 
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you.

The University will contact those who report their information by phone to learn some additional details about your situation and arrange for follow-up. The intent of this information sharing is twofold:  

  • First, to care for University companions during this challenging time.  
  • Second, the University has a desire to take reasonable steps to notify individuals from the Rockhurst community who may have been exposed – and also do a deeper cleaning of any spaces that a member of the community might have occupied while infected.  

The follow-up process with those who might make a report has been reviewed, approved, and applauded by the Kansas City Department of Health. Only a limited number of RU staff members will have access to the information that is shared on a need-to-know basis – the proper and respectful use of personal information is critical.

How can I get tested for COVID-19?

Testing is available at area HCA CareNow Urgent Care and Saint Luke’s Convenient Care clinics. Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as Jackson County and Clay County, Missouri, can sign up for free testing here. At the recommendation of the Kansas City Health Department, students should use their RU local address in order to be eligible for the free Kansas City test.  Residents of Johnson County, Kansas, can get tested for free — sign up here.  Those seeking or needing a test should go online and/or call before they visit a clinic to ensure the availability of testing at that location and to schedule an appointment.  Given their higher level of validity, please pursue a PCR/molecular COVID test as rapid/antigen tests have a higher percentage of “false negative” results. 

Should I report to the University if I have symptoms related to COVID-19?

Yes. The University is requesting that any member of the campus community who has any of the following new or unexplained symptoms should self-quarantine and submit that information by completing this form. Do not include symptoms associated with known or previously diagnosed medical conditions.

  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Fever (100.4 or greater)
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle aches/pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell 


What should I do if I see someone not following mask and distancing guidelines?

Know that if you see someone not following University requirements for masks or social distancing, initiating a friendly conversation can be the most immediate step toward prevention of further exposure.

Here are some tips for having what might sometimes feel like difficult conversations to have:

Remind the person that these are not only the University’s requirements, but they represent some of the best ways to prevent transmission of the virus according to scientific evidence compiled by the CDC. It is also mandatory, according to the mask order issued by Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas.
Make sure the other person/people understand that the ability to live and learn on campus safely this semester depends on everyone — faculty, staff and students — following the rules.
Frame your comments in the context of everyone being part of the community of Rockhurst. For example: “I and a lot of other students were really excited to come back to campus this semester. For a lot of us, having to go home early again because we didn’t follow these rules would be really disappointing.” Or, “Our ability to learn and work on campus depends on all of us following protocols and trying to prevent the spread of the virus. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to contribute to us needing to go back to remote learning and working.”
Jesuit core values — in particular, the idea of “cura personalis,” or “care for the whole person” — can help us understand why taking these steps are important.
Recognize that mask wearing and social distancing can feel unnatural or uncomfortable at times and acknowledge the other person or people might not have realized what they were doing.
If you are meeting with a group in a space that does not allow appropriate physical distancing or if your group is sitting closer than the recommended six feet, suggest meeting in a different place that allows at least six feet of distance or via Zoom.
Say you would feel more comfortable if the other person wears their mask (or wears it properly, completely covering their mouth and nose).

One of our University’s Jesuit core values is “cura personalis,” which means “care for the whole person.” We expect all students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus to follow the same COVID-19 prevention protocols. If you are concerned that someone is showing blatant disregard for the health of our community, kindly remind them that wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance is a requirement if they are going to be indoors and on campus property. If they ignore your request, you can bring that to our attention by using this policy violation form, or if you don’t know the names of the people in violation or need immediate assistance, then please call Security.


The schedule for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters have been adjusted in the interest of minimizing the risk to campus.

Schedule for the Fall 2020 Semester

Aug. 18-21 — New student resident hall move-in.

Aug. 21-23 — Returning student resident hall move-in.

Aug. 24 — Fall 2020 classes begin.

Sept. 7 — Labor Day (no classes and University offices closed).

Nov. 20 — Residence halls close for most students.

Nov. 23-24 — Fall break (no classes).

Nov. 25-27 — Thanksgiving break (no classes). Most students will not return to campus following the break — the remainder of fall 2020 instruction and final exams will take place remotely.

Dec. 4 — Last day of classes for the fall 2020 semester.

Dec. 7-10 — Final exams.

Schedule for the Spring 2021 Semester

The University is planning to offer a similar mix of course modalities in the spring as we did this fall – face-to-face, hybrid and online only. In response to the pandemic, however, we will alter our calendar as follows:

Jan. 26, 2021 — spring semester courses begin.

April 2-5, 2021 — Easter Break (No class — sessions will resume after 4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 5)

May 4 — Spring semester courses conclude

May 6-12 — Finals week

Spring break, originally scheduled for March 15-19, will not be held (similar to the policy at many other institutions) in an effort to reduce spread of the virus resulting from travel. The University will, however, provide other opportunities for our students to rest during the semester.

Below are some instructive videos for COVID procedures:

Use of Cloth Face Mask

Use of Medical Face Mask

Use of a Face Shield

What Not To Do With a Face Mask

Eating and Drinking With a Face Mask

Use of Wall Thermometer

Use of No-Touch Thermometer

Use of Campus Clear App

How to Wash Your Hands

How to Use Hand Sanitizer

How to Use Wipe-Off Disinfectant Spray

How to Use No-Wipe 10-Min Disinfectant Spray

Putting On and Taking Off Gloves

Campus Communications Regarding Return to the Rock

The following communications have been sent regarding plans to return to campus life (please note that these communications represent the most current information as of their publication — guidance and plans might have changed since):

June 12, 2020 — Return to the Rock Fall Plans
June 12, 2020 — Planning Our Return to Campus
July 1, 2020 — July and August Updates
July 14, 2020 — Important Information about your Fall 2020 Class Schedule
July 17, 2020 — Follow up Instructions for “Important Information about your Fall 2020 Class Schedule”
July 23, 2020 — Rockhurst University Required Reporting Pursuant to Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (information for SLCHS students) 
July 30, 2020 — Important Commencement Update 
July 31, 2020 — Return to the Rock: Important Fall Updates
Aug. 7, 2020 — Fall Reminders and Updates for Faculty and Staff
Aug. 14, 2020 — Important Reminders for Faculty and Staff
Aug. 16, 2020 — COVID-19 RU Resources for Hawks
Aug. 17, 2020 — Required Reporting Pursuant to Section 18004(e) of the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund
Aug. 21, 2020 — How We're Monitoring Pandemic Conditions and Other Reminders
Aug. 24, 2020 — Help Keep our Campus Safe and Open
Aug. 28, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Aug. 31 – Guidelines for Campus Athletic Facilities
Sept. 4, 2020 — COVID-Related Update for this Week
Sept. 10, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Sept. 17, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Sept. 24, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Oct. 2, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Oct. 8, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week

Oct. 22, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Oct. 28, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for this Week
Nov. 5, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for This Week
Nov. 12, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for This Week
Nov. 19, 2020 — COVID-Related Updates for This Week

The Pathways Planning Task Force is:

  • Doug Dunham, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs (co-chair)
  • Matt Quick, Ph.D., vice president of student development and athletics (co-chair)
  • Jennifer Friend, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Hubert Benitez, Ph.D., vice president for strategic planning and academic innovation
  • Paula Shorter, Ph.D., associate provost for enrollment services
  • Jeremy O’Connor, Ph.D., associate professor of management
  • Mark Hetzler, associate vice president for student development
  • Gary Burns, director of athletics
  • Jason Riordan, associate vice president of facilities operations
  • Gerald Moench, chief financial officer
  • Katherine Frohoff, director of university relations

Find archived information regarding the University’s initial response to the COVID-19 pandemic here.