Students and colleagues,
We’ve updated our latest data from our COVID-19 entry testing results for faculty, staff, and students returning to campus.
As of 10 p.m. on Thursday, we have 474 positive cases from among 21,719 test results, for a positivity rate of 2.18%. A more complete breakdown is available at protect.ku.edu/covid-19-test-reporting.
Our sorority and fraternity life community has 270 positive individuals from a total of 2,698 individuals tested, for a positivity rate of 10.01%.
Today’s results include some targeted follow-up tests among our student population in addition to results from our ongoing entry testing program, which began on Aug. 7 and continues through next week. Our situation remains dynamic, and we all should expect that to continue moving forward. Our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team is tracking this information, and considering it along with more than 30 factors to inform our decisions and evaluate the state of campus operations.
The overall number of positive cases and positivity rate remain in line with what we have expected from these results so far, and continue to align with what we are prepared to manage.
Given that our previous update was through 10 p.m. Monday, our latest round of data includes some results from tests collected last weekend. During the last seven days of our collection period, we have seen a positivity rate of 3.82% in test results among our overall student population.
Earlier this week, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health issued new quarantine orders for residents of nine sorority and fraternity houses. The county health department issued these quarantine orders based on results of our entry testing, which has allowed us to identify people who were positive for COVID-19 but not displaying symptoms. Without this testing effort, these individuals would have been interacting with the KU and Lawrence community and potentially spreading COVID-19 unbeknownst to themselves and public health officials.
So while the KU and Lawrence communities are experiencing new positive cases as a result of this testing, we also know that identifying positive cases in our population and moving them into isolation and ensuring that close contacts enter quarantine protocols is the best way to stop the spread of the virus. The quarantine orders issued by county health officials this week help to reinforce the importance of following these proper protocols for our community.
This week, KU leaders and county health officials met with members of the sorority and fraternity community to answer questions about quarantine orders, discuss health and safety strategies, and describe support services available for students who need to quarantine. We applaud our Greek community for continuing to work with us to improve health and safety within the community.
We will provide another update on our entry testing numbers on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Again, thank you for all you are doing to help KU continue to prioritize health and safety above all else.
Douglas A. Girod