Faculty, staff and students,
In light of the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the region, we have determined we will not host fans at any Kansas Athletics home competitions for the rest of November. This includes volleyball matches this Thursday and Friday, our football game this Saturday, women’s basketball games Nov. 25 and Nov. 29, and our football game Nov. 28.
This decision has been made after consultation with our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and other university leaders. I will be consulting this group later this week regarding December athletics events, including men’s basketball games, and will communicate updates with you as appropriate.
We know this is disappointing to those of you who planned to be on campus to root for the Jayhawks. While we are not aware of any incidents of COVID-19 transmission at any home athletics competitions this year, the recent spike in cases and hospitalizations makes it unwise to host fans at this time.
Beyond athletics, I want to take this opportunity to emphasize how critical this moment is for our university, state and nation. Throughout the fall semester, Douglas County and KU have had lower positivity rates than most other parts of the state and region, thanks in large part to the commitment of our community to curb the spread of the virus. This is something we can be proud of.
But the spread of the disease in neighboring regions is catching up to us. Kansas and adjacent states are at a tipping point, with the number of new COVID-19 cases increasing each day, and hospitals at or near capacity. The next few weeks will be crucial to our region’s ability to weather this latest wave, particularly as many of us consider whether to gather for the holidays.
With this in mind, now is the time for each of us to renew our commitment to mitigation efforts, particularly with respect to mask-wearing and social distancing, which have served us well so far. I implore each of us to commit to thinking not only about ourselves, but about the entire community, in every decision we make. The safety of our friends, families, colleagues, classmates and neighbors depends on it.
Douglas A. Girod