The following is a message sent to the KWU campus community on August 27, 2020 by President Thompson.
Dear Friends, Supporters, Students, Faculty and Staff of KWU,
We currently have five active COVID-19 cases among KWU students. These cases are, for the most part, directly connected to one another via exposure.
The process we developed this summer has been very effective in containing these cases. Students are self-reporting symptoms quickly, allowing us to move them to appropriate on- and off-campus locations for quarantine and, if a positive test is received, isolation.
We are also following our COVID-19 protocols by quarantining students who fall under three descriptors:
- One, our campus leaders know them to be an extremely close contact (i.e. a teammate, roommate, significant other) of a suspected case. These are individuals who have been within six feet of the ill person for at least 10 minutes. We have been proactive in attempting to limit the possibilities of exposure by breaking practices into pods and creating social distancing in classrooms and other campus spaces.
- Two, the Saline County Health Department contact tracers are aware of close contact with someone who has tested positive. This group will have to be quarantined for 14 days and may be tested for COVID-19 in certain situations, again, at the discretion of medical personnel.
- Third, we are quarantining individuals who have suspicious symptoms. Individuals in this group may be sent to local medical professionals for a COVID-19 test if symptoms dictate, otherwise, they will be allowed to leave quarantine when their health situation becomes clear and/or resolves.
In quarantining these three groups, we have acted out of an abundance of caution. You may have heard of groups of students in quarantine, but please do not be alarmed by this. As we have stated in many of our communications, a quarantine is not reflective of a positive test, or even of any illness whatsoever. Isolation is for students who have tested positive. In fact, several of the individuals we have placed in quarantine have been asymptomatic for any illness. Quarantine is, in our situation, a high-level precaution to enable our in-person semester to continue as planned. Thus far, it has been successful.
We are appreciative of our community collaborators, like University United Methodist Church, who are providing care packages for students who are in quarantine. If you would like to assist or support our students, please be in touch with Jenny Lawson in the Student Development office ([email protected]).
We remain confident in our protocols, the safety of our students, and our ability to continue with the fall semester as scheduled. Thank you for your support of KWU.
All the best,