Healthy Eagles

If you:

  • are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms,
  • are living with or caring for anyone suspected/confirmed with COVID-19,
  • have been in contact with anyone suspected to have COVID-19,
  • or have tested positive for COVID-19

…in the last 14 days, please email immediately.

At home, COVID-19 self-test results will also be accepted.

Avila University Contact Tracer:
Debbie Thornton

COVID-19 Updates

Protect your flock. Cover your beak.
Mandatory masks for all individuals inside campus buildings are in effect now.
Avila University follows the health and safety guidelines of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the State of Missouri Health Department, and the CDC.

Update: 8.13.2021

Familiarize yourself with Avila’s general campus expectations, mask mandates, classroom setup, and scheduling, plus additional details about the coming semester by downloading our Back-to-Campus guide.

Update: 7.30.2021

Based on the recent guideline updates from the CDC and the indoor mask mandate for the City of Kansas City, Missouri, we are also updating our face-covering policy to require all students, faculty, staff, and visitors to properly wear masks inside all of our campus buildings.

Masks are now required in all classrooms, laboratories, the library, dining hall, meeting rooms, and all other public indoor settings.

As this is a fluid situation, the mask requirement will remain in place indefinitely. We will continue to follow the guidance of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the State of Missouri Health Department, and the CDC and update our policies accordingly.

  • Cloth or disposable face masks are required inside all community spaces of our residence halls.
  • All offices have disposable masks available if you need one.
  • Gaiter-style neck sleeves are NOT acceptable masks.
  • Individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 are asked to continue to wear their masks outdoors while on campus.
  • All other COVID-related protocols and good hygiene practices, including hand sanitizing and hand washing, notifying the University about COVID exposure, symptoms or positive test results, and quarantine procedures remain in place.

We continue to make ready for a Fall semester filled with on-campus and in-person experiences. To make this a reality I want to remind you of our mission and of your role in it.

As a Sister of St. Joseph university, we believe in the dignity and freedom of every person. This comes with the expectation of exercising your freedoms with the consideration of your neighbors. Vaccinations are proven to be our best protection. The expectation of getting vaccinated aligns with our mission to care for those around us. Vaccinations and face coverings provide protection for everyone, not just the individual. It is our responsibility to do all we can for the health and safety of ourselves, our neighbors, professors, staff, and classmates.

Our university’s face-covering policy also aligns with this mission. In our buildings, properly worn masks are now required of all individuals. Please make a considerate effort to do your part without having to be reminded. Your peers, our campus guests, and the Avila community are relying on your actions to be truthful and mission-bound.

Please continue making healthy decisions and maintaining your good hygiene practices. I’ll see you on campus in a few short weeks.

Together, we are more.

Ronald A. Slepitza, Ph.D., CSJA

LiveSafe App

Use the LiveSafe app to self-assess your health daily.

Icon for LiveSafe App
  1. Download the “LiveSafe” app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
  2. Register using your email address
  3. Search and select “Avila University” as your school.

Download on Apple Store
Download on Google Play

Current Face Covering Guidelines

November, 2021 — Masks are still required for everyone inside a campus building regardless of vaccination status.
If you are not vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to get vaccinated and continue wearing a mask inside campus buildings.

NOTE: Gaiter-style neck sleeves are NOT acceptable masks. Cloth or disposable face masks only. If you need a mask. All offices on campus have disposable masks available to you.

Update: 5.14.2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new mask guidelines Thursday for fully vaccinated people, lifting the mask and social distancing recommendations both indoors and out. Non-vaccinated individuals are still at a higher risk for infection and encouraged to continue wearing masks and social distancing.

With this update, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas—in consultation with Kansas City Health Director Rex Archer, M.D.—announced that effective May 14, 2021 at noon, Kansas City will rescind its Fourteenth Emergency COVID-19 Order.

Avila University continues to follow the guidance of the KCMO Health Department and the CDC and will lift on-campus mask requirements, effective immediately.

The University still strongly encourages students, staff, faculty, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing masks inside campus buildings.

At this time, tomorrow’s graduation ceremonies will proceed as planned – with requirements including mandatory mask requirements, temperature checks, social distancing, and ticketed seating for everyone. These are still requirements of the venue – not the University.

The CDC announcement also leaves open the possibility for a return to masking guidelines – even for fully vaccinated people – should the vaccination rates decrease and the coronavirus transmission increases.

If you are able, please get fully vaccinated now. This is the best way we can ensure a safer and healthier return to on-campus activities this fall. The University will continue to follow current health and safety guidelines and will update the community of changes through campus email, social media, and on the webpage.



Avila announced today that the University is preparing a return to campus this Fall.  This will include –as much as is possible— in-person instruction, service, and events.

The University will continue to follow the health and safety guidelines provided by the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the State of Missouri Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Properly worn masks, social distancing, and other procedures will remain in place as we bring more of our community back to campus in the fall.

Over this past year, we’ve learned quite a bit about the commitment necessary to provide a safer learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff during a horrible pandemic. We’ve also learned that as a University we can accomplish our mission in ways we didn’t even think were possible back in March 2020. We’ve all become familiar with face coverings, physical distancing, hand washing, and how impactful educational experience can be via Zoom and Canvas.

Now, as vaccines are becoming more readily available, our focus is on bringing more student experiences back to campus for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.

Our success this Fall depends on all of us right now. Our willingness as an Avila community to be vaccinated – faculty, staff, and students alike – will be paramount to our return-to-campus plans. As will the plateauing or lowering of COVID-19 positivity rates in Kansas City. Our continued efforts in wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, avoiding large crowds, washing our hands often, and getting vaccinated will make the difference. Based on the efforts of the Avila community this academic year, and the progress we’re seeing nationally towards vaccinating the population, we see a Fall semester that is safer and one that is significantly closer towards returning to what we would consider a pre-COVID normal on campus.

Thank you for your commitment, dedication, determination, and grit during this unprecedented time. Eagle on! We are only able to plan for a return to campus in the fall because of you — our Avila students, faculty, and staff.

Update: 11:13:2020

Given the increasing spread of COVID-19 in the Kanas City community and after conversations with the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department, Avila University is making several changes now to help protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

Following the Thanksgiving Break, we will be moving as many face-to-face classes to remote status as possible. If your class has been online or remote, there are no changes. . A limited number of laptops are available to be checked out, contact Some classes, with the permission of Academic Affairs, will remain face-to-face Please stay in contact with your professors on how your specific classes will be delivered.

All University offices will begin operating on a rotating, on-campus/remote schedule beginning Monday, November 16, 2020. This will lower the number of people on campus as half the staff will be working remotely each week. Work studies and GA’s, please see your supervisor for details and scheduling.

Student services will be available, however, appointments are encouraged.

Library, bookstore, residence halls, and foodservice remain open. The process for returning books will be sent in a later communication.

We will continue to follow the guidelines and recommendations set by the CDC and the Kansas City, Missouri Health Department. That includes their guidance that masks continue to be one of the best ways to slow the spread of this virus. However, masks are not a substitute for proper quarantine measures. As of today, the CDC guidance regarding quarantine periods has not changed, even when masks are present at the time of the COVID-19 exposure. Please, keep wearing your masks properly, and cooperate fully with all contact tracing protocols.

These are difficult times across the country. I hope you and your family remain healthy and safe over the holidays. We will continue to do all that we can to keep our campus community safe as we look forward to the New Year and the Spring semester.

Remember, Together we are more.


Update: 10.26.2020

As the pandemic continues, campuses across the country are taking measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19 over the upcoming holidays, winter break, and the spring semester. Avila University is joining these colleges and universities in altering our academic calendar.

For health and safety measures, the general consensus is to limit the back-and-forth from college campuses as much as possible. For Avila, we have decided that:

Unless the conditions change in Kansas City, following the Thanksgiving holiday, classes will resume as scheduled. For classes with Zoom/online options, students may finish the semester remotely if they decide that returning to campus is not in their best interest.

Spring classes for traditional undergraduate students will now start one week later, on Monday, January 25, 2021.

The Residence Halls will open on January 24, 2021.

Class schedules for adult undergraduate and graduate programs will not change.

This will mean that there will not be a traditional spring break this year.

However, we understand that students will need a break, so the Easter Holiday will be extended for them by two days, from Thursday, April 1 through Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Campus offices, however, will remain open on April 5 and 6, 2021.

Students are aware that registration for Fall 2021 classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Losing spring break will be difficult for many. However, for the health and safety of our community, we must. As a university, we have all done an amazing job of keeping ourselves and our neighbors healthy. But, we cannot let our guard down. Thank you for your understanding, your resiliency, and your help in keeping engaged.

Together, we are more.


Update: 8.21.2020

Avila University Back-to-Campus Guide

Students heading back to campus will notice a number of changes. Download the Back-To-Campus Guide for an explanation of the requirements, expectations, and protocols that will be in effect at the start of the semester. Updates will continue to be made on these Healthy Eagles pages as situations evolve. Please give this Guide your attention before coming to campus.

On-campus and need a space to attend your next Zoom class? These spaces have been set up for your use:

O’Rielly 202 (12 students)
O’Rielly 203 (8 students)
O’Rielly 220 (9 students)
Carondelet A (5 students)
Carondelet 15 (6 students)
Library (67 students)
Marian Lounge


Update: 8.14.2020

  • All campus offices and buildings will be open for business on Monday, August 17, 2020.
  • All campus buildings are marked with designated “ENTER HERE” and “EXIT ONLY” access. Please respect the signs.
  • Class delivery methods are updated and available to students through their MyAU portal.
  • The City of Kansas City, Missouri has extended their State of Emergency through January 16, 2021
  • Face masks, worn properly and covering both mouth and nose, will be required in all classrooms, offices, common areas, and outside while on campus.
  • Self-serve, no-touch, temperature kiosks have been installed at each buildings’ designated entrance doors. The expectation is that you will check your temperature once a day as soon as you enter the campus. If you have a temperature or any of the COVID-19 symptoms as listed by the CDC, please return home immediately, contact your professor, and email

We cannot stress how important your role is in keeping all of us healthy. Your diligence in wearing face masks off-campus, consistently maintaining proper social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and self-monitoring your health daily, is the key to a “normal” semester.

We will keep the community informed of updates to our plans on social media and on the Healthy Eagles webpages. We will also send email communications as further return to campus decisions are made final.


Update: July 30, 2020

All of us in the Avila community – the faculty, administration, coaches, and staff — are eager to welcome students back on campus this fall. Just as I’m sure you’re eager to get back to “normal,” we are too. Since the end of the Spring term, the University has been working to make this coming semester as normal as possible while following the City of Kansas City Missouri, the State of Missouri, and the CDC guidelines for a risk-reduced learning environment.

This is a major ongoing undertaking that only works alongside your individual efforts to protect yourself and the health of your professors, teammates, fellow students, and each of us in the Avila community.

There will be updates between now and your first day in class, but we feel confident in sharing this information:

Classes will be a mix of in-class, remote, online, and hybrid formats. To understand the specifics of each, please visit the Healthy Eagles Resources pages.

Classrooms and labs are being reconfigured to accommodate social distancing. Face masks are required in the classrooms and labs. Over the next two weeks, you will be receiving more detailed information on how each of your classes will be delivered.

If you do not feel comfortable in a face-to-face classroom, remote options are available for on-campus courses.

Face masks, worn properly, will be required in all classrooms and public spaces — indoors and outside on the Avila campus. Students are expected to provide and maintain their own masks. Department office managers and the bookstore will have disposable masks if you forget yours.

Enhanced cleaning protocols are being implemented across campus including specialized disinfecting equipment.

The dining hall will be set up for social distancing, with reduced occupancy, hours, and menu options.

Resident hall capacities have been limited. New cleaning and safety protocols will be in place by move-in day. Move-in will also be different this fall.

Self-check temperature stations will be installed at the entrances to all buildings. Everyone entering the building is expected to use these stations at least once per day.

Hand sanitizing stations will also be installed across campus.

Special cleaning and social distancing protocols have been created for “close” curricular and co-curricular activities such as Athletics and the Performing Arts.

We cannot stress how important your role is in keeping all of us healthy. Your diligence in wearing face masks off-campus, consistently maintaining proper social distancing, washing your hands frequently, and self-monitoring your health daily, is the key to a “normal” semester.

We will keep the community informed of updates to our plans on social media and on the Healthy Eagles webpages. We will also send email communications as a further return to campus decisions are made final. Thank you for your patience.

Together, We Are More,

Update: July 24, 2020

Officially, the campus is only open to the public by appointment. While walk-ins are not ideal, we are here to help all who show up.

Should a visitor (anyone not employed by Avila, including students) come to your office, please remind them:

All visitors must wear a mask. All offices have a supply of disposable masks for visitors who need one.

All visitors must use hand sanitizer before entering the office space. Thorough hand washing following the CDC guidelines is an acceptable alternative for those with a sensitivity to hand sanitizer.

All visitors should have their temperature checked. Soon you will see self-serve temperature check stations are installed in all buildings inside the official entrances. Until then you will need to assist visitors using a handheld, no-touch thermometer.

All visitors will respect social distancing.

Any visitor who will not follow these protocols should be asked to contact the office by phone, email, or video call.

These visitor procedures will remain in effect until we fully open campus to students, and the public, in August.

Update: July 17, 2020

All employees are working with their VP’s and supervisors to determine the most effective way to return which may include entire departments or a rotating schedule. The goal is to have everyone back on campus by the start of classes in August. As we prepare to all be on campus again, the leadership team will continue through the month of July to approve additional departments and individuals to return.  As these decisions are made, supervisors will communicate with their teams regarding timing and schedules.

Avila faculty and staff have received e-mail reminders about accepting the Canvas invitation to the AU Virtual Campus.  It is very important that you go to the direct link to the Virtual Campus at and set up your login information.   This link takes you to required training on guidelines for returning to work and additional resources. Once the training is published on the site all employees will need to take the training. We will be using the AU Virtual Campus to distribute updates, COVID-related information in addition to Avila specific training to faculty and staff.

Update: June 25, 2020

On July 1, 2020, employees working in Blasco Hall are approved to return.  These employees will be working with their VP’s and supervisors to determine the most effective way to return which may include entire departments or a rotating schedule.  As we prepare to all be on campus again, the leadership team will continue through the month of July to approve additional departments and individuals to return.  As these decisions are made, supervisors will communicate with their teams regarding timing and schedules.

Avila faculty and staff should have received an e-mail and a reminder about accepting the Canvas invitation to the AU Virtual Campus.  It is very important that you go to the direct link to the Virtual Campus at and set up your login information.   This link takes you to required training on guidelines for returning to work and additional resources. Once the training is published on the site all employees will need to take the training. We anticipate the training will be available no later than July 1, 2020.  We will be using the AU Virtual Campus to distribute updates, COVID-related information in addition to Avila specific training to faculty and staff.

Please review the materials that are housed on the Healthy Eagles resource page.  One new item is a notice regarding required face coverings on campus to review and the other is instructions on how to download an app that will assist in self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID.  All employees returning to campus are required to conduct a symptom self-screening every day before reporting to campus. We encourage you to report your symptoms via self-screening by utilizing the WorkSafe application.

As we prepare to have a healthy and safe work environment, it may look a bit different with masks, signage, hand sanitizers, temperature checks, social distancing, etc. but it is our desire that we can work collaboratively to meet the goal of 100% of faculty, staff, and students to return to campus by the beginning of fall classes. Please remember President Slepitza’s words, “nothing is more important than what we do as a community to protect the health and safety of everyone around us. That starts with taking care of yourself. Please follow the new procedures and help remind others of the importance of doing the same. And be considerate of your co-workers. We’re all dealing with different issues and stresses. Together we are better.”

Update: June 11, 2020

Based on current health and safety guidelines and the University’s capacity to provide proper personal protection equipment, Phase I (effective June 15) of Avila’s Back to Campus Plan will include the Registrar and Student Financial Services offices, the Athletics weight room, Maintenance, Security, IT, and the Upward Bound office.

No other offices are approved for opening, nor should any employee be on campus without the direct approval of their dean or vice president.

In general, the public is not being invited on campus during Phase I, with the exception of the Food Pantry in Dallavis.

More offices will be opened slowly during the following Phases based on our ability to respond to campus needs regarding maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.

Phase I (June 15, 2020)

Face masks/coverings are required to be worn in all common areas and any spaces where you might encounter others and cannot maintain 6ft. social distancing. This includes hallways, bathrooms, break areas, printer areas, offices, etc.

Workspaces must allow for 6ft. of social distancing.

Every effort should be made to continue to reduce prolonged (longer than 15 minutes) face-to-face interactions whenever possible, including staggering work schedules, video conferences, email, messaging, and telecommuting.

Do not use communal refrigerators, microwaves, or vending machines.

No food service in the cafeteria.

Go home immediately if you don’t feel well or have a fever.

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. When you can’t wash, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.

Follow the cleaning and disinfecting protocols for your area.

Speak with your supervisor, dean, or vice president if you have concerns.

Because each of our campus offices/areas are so different, each area will have unique health and safety procedures. Upon returning to campus you will be given training on masks/face coverings, gloves, new sanitizing procedures, traffic patterns, etc. Avila’s new protocols and procedures are dynamic and will evolve as more offices are opened, more employees are on campus, and as the public is welcomed back.

Campus protocols are being developed that may include:

Limited entrances to all buildings.

Temperature check and wellness stations at every building entrance.

Hand sanitizer stations strategically placed across campus.

More frequent cleaning and frequent sanitizing.

Occupancy and seating restrictions in common areas, classrooms, and conference rooms.

Phase II of Avila’s Back to Campus Plan will occur in July at a date still to be determined.

Our ultimate Back to Campus goal is for 100% of faculty, staff, and students to return to campus by the beginning of fall classes.

There is still a great deal of work ahead and nothing is more important to reach our goal than what we do as a community to protect the health and safety of everyone around us. That starts with taking care of yourself. Please follow the new procedures and help remind others of the importance of doing the same. And be considerate of your co-workers. We’re all dealing with different issues and stresses. Together we are better.

Update: May 15, 2020

Avila University will open campus to staff, faculty, students, and the public in phases.

Phase I of the Avila plan will go into effect on June 15, 2020, and only impact certain faculty, staff, and students.
No one who has been working from home during the expired shelter-in-place order is to return to work before this date. Phase I will only bring back to campus faculty and staff whose duties are classified essential, i.e. duties that can only be performed on-campus. The University will be determining which offices and positions this includes over the next two weeks.

After Phase I is implemented, the University will phase faculty and staff back to campus slowly over the following weeks. The ultimate goal is to have 100% of faculty, staff, and students on campus for Fall.  As we do, we will take into consideration and address specific limitations and concerns the Avila community may have.

The desire to get back to normal is appreciated, however, Avila is taking this one careful step at a time. The University has hired an environmental safety firm to work with the Avila team to evaluate, plan, and implement health and safety protocols before anyone returns to campus. As reported in the news, the demand for hand sanitizers, masks, plexiglass, industrial foggers, and other safety equipment is high. The University has orders placed and anticipate having what is needed on hand by June 15. However, Avila University will not open campus until these important items are available.

Cap & Gown Pick Up – Friday, May 8

We will be doing a drive-through ONLY pick up for caps and gowns on May 8, 2020 from 9 am-3pm at Avila University. In order to comply with the city’s restrictions you are not to get out of your car, this is a drive-through only.  For everyone’s protection, please wear a mask. You will enter campus off of Wornall Rd. and 118th street. Drive into the parking lot between Marian Center and Wylie Hall and you will see staff there to pass out cap and gowns.  STAY in YOUR CAR PLEASE.  Stop, give your name, and we will then give you your cap and gown.  Exit through the parking lot onto Oak Street in front of Dallavis/Ridgeway Hall. If everyone follows these guidelines this should run fairly smoothly.

More graduation, diploma, and celebration information can be found on the Graduation Information page.

Update: 4.23.2020

Avila University has received word that there will be grants available from the Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Students under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Economic Security (CARES) Act. However, those funds have not yet been distributed to the University by the Federal Government. Federal guidelines on eligibility and distribution are still being finalized.

Once those guidelines have been given to the University and the funds have been received, we will encourage students who are experiencing financial emergencies related to the interruption of operations on campus due to the COVID-19 virus to apply. The University will send emails and social media notifications once the information and application are available.

CARES Act details and the application will be accessible from this Health Eagles page and in the Resources section.

Course drop deadline has been extended to May 1, 2020

More information about credit/no credit options will be distributed via email and social networks soon.


Update: 3.25.2020

The following are new campus and class-related updates you need to be aware of:

— The spring last withdrawal date has been changed to April 27.  This later date is to allow students more time to adjust to online requirements and not feel as stressed about making an earlier withdrawal decision.

— Based on information from the Kansas City Department of Convention and Entertainment Facilities, Avila University will not be able to hold the graduation ceremony in May 2020. We are postponing this event and will communicate further updates as we are able to determine actions.

— The traditional spring term is still scheduled to end on May 9, 2020.  Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Kansas City Orders affecting classes this semester, Avila University is allowing faculty members to choose to extend class completion dates for one, two, or three additional weeks (up to May 30, 2020) in order to ease the burden on faculty and students in the completion of requirements and meeting course outcomes.  The decision to extend a course is at the discretion of the faculty member teaching the course. Students should address questions to their faculty. Faculty should discuss with their School Chair and/or College Dean any questions or concerns regarding these decisions.

— If due to circumstances with the COVID-19 outbreak, students cannot complete requirements that are community-based (such as clinicals, student teaching, practicums, internships) by May 30, 2020, faculty can issue course-wide or student-based incomplete grades on May 30, 2020.


Campus Update: March 17, 2020

As the fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so does the University’s response. Following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Kansas City Mayor Lucas, that organizations avoid gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days, and groups of 50 for at least another eight weeks, we want to share what that will mean for you as we prepare our campus for the next phase of the response.

All Adult and Graduate Face-to-Face Classes Will Move to the Online Format Beginning March 18, 2020
Instructors will send out information to their students via email and through Canvas.

Online Classes Will Continue Through the End of the Semester
All undergraduate, adult and graduate classes will operate fully online for the remainder of the semester. This was a difficult decision, as we had hoped to bring the Avila community back together in person. However, with this rapidly changing situation, we want to provide as much certainty as possible, so we have made the decision to stay with our online courses. Labs will move to virtual online labs. Clinicals, internships, student teaching, and practicums will remain face-to-face at the discretion of the professor and external sites.

The Avila Learning Commons Will Close
Online library services and inter-library loans will continue through the website. We will set library hours for phone calls or other assistance. We will be making arrangements to have technology set up around campus, using social distancing guidelines, for students who don’t have access to a computer or the internet at home. Spectrum in Kansas City will offer 60-days of free internet and WiFi service to student households. Call 1-844-488-8395 for information. If you are without the technology to do classwork online, please contact

Residents Halls Will Remain Open to Those Students Who Need Housing
While we encourage all students to move back home, that is not universally possible so the residence halls and dining services will remain open.  Students who are not currently on campus will be able to return and check out after April 6, 2020, by calling the RA cellphone to make a check out appointment. If you have an emergency need to access your room before then, contact

Advising for Next Semester Will Happen Through Email or Other Technologies
Please feel free to reach out to your faculty advisor.

Graduation Ceremony Will Be Moved to Either May 29 or May 30, 2020
We are working with the venue to secure the location and date. More details to come.

The Spring Theatre Production and Music Concerts are Canceled

Student Scholar Day is Canceled

The NAIA Has Canceled All Spring Sports

Mabee Fieldhouse, the Indoor Track, Pavilion, and Fitness Center are Closed

This is a difficult time for everyone. Please remember how important it is during these uncertain times to be sensitive to one another and to take care of ourselves. It is completely normal to feel grief, loss, or disappointment.  If you would like to discuss any feelings you’re having, the Counseling Center is open to students. Email Taryn Hodison to schedule an appointment. Employees can use EAP for counseling services.

I am grateful to every member of the Avila community. So many people have been working around the clock to salvage as much of the Avila experience as possible.  Together, we will weather this storm.  We are so much better when we are able to connect with and support each other.  The Sisters of St. Joseph have taught us that “Together We are More.”  I am asking you, in the weeks and months ahead to be the support that others need whether at home, in your community, or at Avila.  Your leadership and caring support matters.

Ronald Slepitza, Ph.D. CSJA

University-Sponsored and Personal Travel

Due to the spread of COVID-19 in the following countries the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Level 3 travel advisories (Avoid Nonessential Travel) for:



South Korea

Europe (Schengen Area): Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City

United Kingdom and Ireland: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland

As a result,

Avila University is immediately prohibiting all University-sponsored travel to these countries until the CDC changes the levels of travel advisories.

The University discourages personal travel to these locations.

Employees or students who travel here must refrain from physical presence on campus for a period of 14 calendar days after return to the United States.

The CDC has issued Level 2 travel advisories (Enhanced Precautions) for Japan due to the spread of COVID-19.  As a result,

Avila University is enacting approval requirements for all University-sponsored travel to these countries until the CDC changes the levels of travel advisories.

As a result, Avila University is asking all employees and students to notify Darby Gough or Sue Willcox of travel to these locations.

Persons who exhibit symptoms of flu or COVID-19 within 14 days of return from these countries are asked to refrain from coming to the Avila campus as must notify personal health providers immediately.

The CDC has issued a Level 1 travel advisory (Practice Usual Precautions) for Hong Kong due to the spread of COVID-19.  As a result,

Avila University is asking all employees and students to notify Darby Gough or Sue Willcox of travel to these locations.

This situation remains very fluid and other countries or cities could be added.  Additionally, Avila University will monitor University-sponsored activities and will make changes to these activities when it is believed to expose students or employees to at-risk environments.

If you do choose to travel internationally, please keep the following in mind:

Understand and routinely check any travel and border restrictions in transit, at your proposed destination, and upon your return, such as denial of entry or a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.

Allow additional time for arrival procedures, or when passing through affected area airports, taking into account temperature and health screenings.

If you are traveling or transiting from COVID-19 affected areas, anticipate more stringent scrutiny and reconfirm the status of flights with your carrier or the airport.

Follow all official directives by authorities.

Monitor developments through the U.S. State Department and CDC websites.

Do not travel if you are sick; travelers who are sick risk being quarantined and health testing.

In addition,

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is issuing new guidance today surrounding COVID-19, including travelers, close contacts of confirmed cases and those being tested. KDHE is now recommending 14-day home quarantine for Kansans who have:

Traveled to a state with known widespread community transmission (currently California, New York, and Washington state) on or after March 15.

Visited Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties in Colorado within the past week.

Traveled on a cruise ship on or after March 15. o People who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should finish out their quarantine. • Traveled internationally on or after March 15. o People who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their international travel should finish out their quarantine.

Received notification from public health officials (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. You should quarantine at home for 14 days since your last contact with the case. (A close contact is defined as someone who has been closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the patient is symptomatic.)

Health advice

It cannot be emphasized enough that good self-care habits are vitally important, including:

Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol

Cover your cough

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

Don’t share food or drinks or pens

If you get sick, stay home and rest

National resources include the CDC and U.S. State Department.

The University will continue to closely monitor this health risk and provide updates when warranted.

Spring Break Extended – 3.13.20

As the challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to change rapidly, Avila University’s top priority remains your health and safety. While there are no known cases of COVID-19 reported on campus, as a precautionary measure to help mitigate the risk of exposure we are implementing the following procedures. Please read the information carefully so that you are well informed:


Spring Break will be extended through March 22, 2020, for all traditional undergraduate students. Beginning March 23, 2020, all courses will be conducted remotely. The only exceptions will be labs and clinicals which will continue face-to-face at the discretion of the instructors and clinical sites. Instructors will use email and Canvas to communicate with students with further individual class details.

Adult and graduate students will continue their face-to-face classes the week of March 15, 2020 as normal. All adult and graduate classes will be conducted remotely beginning March 23, 2020.

The Avila Learning Commons will remain open, to help students with technology and internet connection issues. Specific hours of operation will be posted soon. Please contact with individual concerns and we’ll help you navigate a solution.

Faculty will inform students on how they will be conducting office hours.

Residence Life:

Students are encouraged to stay home and continue classes online until face-to-face classes resume. However, we recognize that’s not universally reasonable. For some, the safest, most secure place will be in the Avila residence halls, which will remain open.

Residence halls will be open for those students who do not have the option of staying at home. This includes students serving in clinicals, those who are student teaching, and others who need to be on campus for academic or safety reasons. The halls will open Sunday, March 15, 2020, at 8 a.m.

Students who plan to stay on campus will need to register with Residence Life. Residents will be sent an online form via their Avila email today.

The Dining Hall will open Sunday, March 15, 2020, with dinner. Options will be reduced and a schedule will be announced later.

The Avila Food Pantry in Dallavis will be open and available to all students, faculty, and staff.

Campus Business:

Avila University will remain open for normal business. Faculty and staff will report to work as usual.

In accordance with Avila’s Pandemic Policy, any member of the campus community who have traveled to a country with a CDC level 2 or higher designation, taken a cruise, or attended gatherings larger than 250 people may be asked to self-quarantine for 14-days.

Campus Events:

This is a dynamic situation. Decisions are being made in regards to athletic and other events, including graduation. You will be updated as soon as decisions are made.

We do not know how long these procedures will be in place. Please continue to check your email and our Healthy Eagles webpage: which provides links to campus communications, FAQs, and COVID-19 resources.

These responsive actions may raise questions for many. Send your questions and concerns to

Update: 3.12.2020

Based on the CDC recommendations and Avila’s Pandemic Policy, Avila University is moving up another level based on the level of changes within the United States and the following stipulations are effective March 12, 2020

All University paid attendance to conferences (anywhere) is canceled for at least the next 90 days.  Personal travel is discouraged and the university retains the right to ask the employee to self-quarantine for 14 days after return, using the employee’s sick leave for the quarantine.

Based on the CDC recommendations on cruises, the university will ask any employees taking cruises until further notice to self-quarantine for 14 days following return, using employee’s sick leave for the quarantine.

Based on the CDC recommendations, until further notice employees who choose to attend gatherings larger than 250 persons may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days, using the employee’s sick leave for the quarantine.

In this changing situation, stay tuned.  Avila will communicate all important changes via email,, and social media – thus, it is important you check your email daily.

Remember, Avila cares about our community, students, staff, faculty and families and together we live our values, to take care of the dear neighbor, and excellence in teaching and learning. Avila understands these are difficult stipulations but keep in mind are our goal is to keep the Avila community safe and healthy.

Please use to ask questions and communicate illnesses.


Regarding COVID-19 and your insurance coverage

LewerMark is also following closely the latest developments regarding the coronavirus and have made the following statement about policy coverage:

  1. There is no provision in your LewerMark international student health insurance policy that excludes coverage for the coronavirus. This means that treatment of the coronavirus is covered under the plan similar to other illnesses.
    1. For instance, coverage for the coronavirus may be covered up to the plan maximum as indicated in the policy brochure, unless it’s determined to be a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions are covered up to the pre-ex maximum allowed under the plan, as applicable. Not all students are subject to pre-existing condition limitations; if you have questions about pre-existing conditions, please contact LewerMark at 1-800-821-7710.
  2. Eligibility: LewerMark coverage is designed specifically for international students who are actively attending classes on a full-time basis. To be considered eligible, a student must begin the academic term actively attending class for up to 31 consecutive days following the beginning of the then-current term, unless the student is unable to attend class due to an acute covered sickness or injury. If a student suffers an acute covered sickness or injury during his/her first 31 days of classes, the 31-consecutive-day requirement may be waived.
    1. Please note that students remaining in the United States between the spring, and subsequent fall terms, are eligible for continuous coverage under LewerMark’s student plan.
    2. In the event a student is diagnosed with the coronavirus, and is unable to return to class, the student may apply for an insured term off. The student must return to class as a full-time student for the following term, to remain insurance eligible.
  3. Should the student become quarantined as a result of COVID-19 illness, he/she will be ineligible to return home. However, Scholastic Emergency Services (SES) may cover the cost of a compassionate visit from a family member if the student is hospitalized for 5 or more days. Likewise, should the student experience the loss of an immediate family member, SES will cover the cost of a round trip ticket so that the student may return to his/her home country.
  4. For students who are worried, or experiencing apprehension regarding the coronavirus, Morneau Shepell (mySSP) is available 24/7 to support students, and can provide the following:
    1. Advisors who speak the member’s language and understand cultural needs.
    2. Complete confidentiality, and availability for as many appointments as needed.
    3. Accessible support via mobile interface, web chat and over the phone.
      1. Download the mobile app, “MySSP”, or call them directly at 1-866-743-7732.
      2. To initiate a mobile chat, visit Select your school, then country of origin, then begin the chat.

While these statements do not guarantee benefits, we at LewerMark understand the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19/coronavirus and we’ve offered the above guidance as an attempt to address many questions about your coverage. Please remember that this guidance is generalized and simply cannot address each individual’s particular situation, and for this reason, the coverage discussions offered above cannot be and are not considered binding.

In all situations, The Lewer Agency’s claims personnel will determine benefit eligibility in accordance with the applicable coverage provisions once all claims and any other relevant information have been received.

The well-being of all members of the Avila community is our highest priority. To that end, University officials are closely monitoring the global threat posed by the new coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Avila University is following federal and state guidelines in this rapidly evolving situation. Students, faculty, and staff will be updated through emails, text messages, the university’s social media accounts, and on this webpage. 

Campus Impact
COVID-19:Positive CasesEffected and Fully VaccinatedEffected and Unreported/UnvaccinatedTotal Effected
Most Recent Week
(11.22 – 11.28)
Totals Between
8.1 – 11.28
Data is updated weekly and is based on positive test results and vaccination status as reported to the University.
Avila currently has 1,359 enrolled undergraduate students and 477 full-time and part-time faculty and staff

Questions can be emailed to

Updates & Notifications

Check your email and follow Avila University’s main social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Kansas City COVID Information Center
Jackson County, MO Information Center
Jackson County, MO COVID Testing Sites
Jackson County, MO Health Dept. Vaccine Plan
Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID Information
CDC Vaccine Information

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