Faculty, staff and students:
Ten days ago we announced that we would not host fans at athletics events through the first week of December and that we would make decisions about future events on a week-by-week basis.
I write today to inform you we will begin hosting fans Monday, December 7 through Monday, December 14. This time period comprises three men’s basketball games, two women’s basketball games and our final home football game.
Attendance at basketball games will be capped at about 2,500 fans. Football game attendance will be capped at about 9,500 fans.
The decision to begin hosting fans again has been made after consultation with the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and other university leaders. The decision is based primarily on the current declining trend in COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization rates in our county and region, as well as the fact that Douglas County’s rates continue to be lower than most regions of the country. Additionally, given there have been no known incidents of COVID-19 transmission at any KU athletics event so far, we are confident in the plans we’ve developed to prioritize safety in our venues.
I want to reiterate that we are making these decisions on a week-by-week basis so we can respond to the latest information and medical guidance. Thus, it is possible we will need to go back to not hosting fans at some point in the weeks ahead. While COVID-19 rates in our region have declined in recent days, our state and nation are still at a critical moment in terms of preventing the spread of the virus. We will continue to consult with the Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and make decisions that prioritize the safety of the community.
While we are confident we can maximize fan health and wellness in our athletics facilities, we can’t do that for fans who gather in restaurants, bars and living rooms to watch the Jayhawks on TV, or for those who travel among combined households to and from games. That responsibility is on each of us as individuals. With that in mind, please continue your commitment to mask-wearing, social distancing and thinking not only about yourself, but about the entire community, in every decision you make.
Douglas A. Girod