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K-State Today Special Issue

August 28, 2020

University responds to Greek Housing outbreaks

Submitted by Division of Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University is working closely with local health authorities to help manage recent COVID-19 outbreaks in four Greek Housing units. The Riley County Health Department announced today the outbreaks will lead to restricted activities by the organizations. 

Risk mitigation strategies to manage the increase in positive cases are being implemented per K-State’s plan, according to Elliot Young, K-State's risk and compliance officer. The university continues to have adequate capacity to isolate and quarantine students. Testing capabilities are increasing and contact tracing efforts are keeping up with the demand. The university estimates that compliance with wearing face coverings on campus is more than 90%. 

On Wednesday, President Richard Myers, Vice President Thomas Lane and Lafene Medical Director Kyle Goerl met with representatives from K-State’s Greek organizations to answer questions and discuss the importance of following health protocols. As many as 150 representatives participated in the virtual session. 

"The recent outbreaks demonstrate the need for us to work together and keep lines of communication open," Myers said. "We appreciate the leadership shown by the representatives of these organizations and expect them to cooperate with our health officials. All of us need to work together to help mitigate the spread of this virus."

Testing at Lafene Health Center has shown an increase in positive results since the semester began on Aug. 17. The first week, there was an average of about 13 positives a day, with positive rate of 9.3%. Testing volume expanded this week, which also saw an increase in positive cases. Through Wednesday of this week, daily positives increased to an average of about 35 a day, with a positive rate of 19.1% 

Lafene Health Center continues to see most patients within one or two days of calls for testing appointments. Students who are symptomatic and are awaiting results of a COVID-19 test should consider themselves positive and isolate. Those who have had close contact with a person with a positive result should quarantine and be tested. If the test is positive, then that person should move into isolation, and if negative, remain in quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the positive individual. 

The number of students in quarantine and isolation on and off-campus provides an indicator of how the virus is spreading in our communities. As of yesterday we have 364 students in quarantine and 167 students in isolation at the Manhattan Campus. This is an increase from 149 in quarantine and 49 in isolation from Friday last week. Polytechnic campus reports three in quarantine and two in isolation. People in isolation have tested positive or are awaiting results from a test. 

Information about the most recent guidelines can be found at the COVID-19 Updates web page.

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