By Carin Holmes
The number of COVID-19 cases at KU is down significantly compared to this point in the Fall 2020 semester.
At the end of week 10 in the Fall 2020 semester, KU had seen 345 cases of COVID-19. Halfway through week 10 this semester, there have been 193 cases of COVID-19.
“The goal of the last three semesters has been to navigate the semester with health and safety at the forefront,” said Bryan Salvadore, director of communications and member of the Emergency Management Team at KU. He cited the two semesters of in-person instruction that KU had in the 2020-21 academic year as helpful in allowing them to forecast and plan for this semester.
The majority of the COVID-19 cases this semester came during the second and third weeks of the semester, which Salvadore said they were expecting, as before the pandemic upper respiratory issues were often seen during that time of the semester.
There are multiple factors that are considered when discussing increasing or decreasing mitigation efforts. According to Salvadore these factors include CDC guidance, total cases and the amount of isolation and quarantine spaces that are available on campus.
“I would attribute the success to a couple of things,” said Vincenzo D’ancona, student government board secretary and student representative on the Emergency Management Team. He cited masking, the efforts of the Emergency Management Team and the Health and Wellness Center, weekly voluntary testing and vaccine clinics on campus.
“The Emergency Management Team having two students on their board is a wonderful way to get student input,” said D’ancona. He also cited the recent efforts to get input from the student body directly.
Salvadore said that they are looking for input from the campus community for the Spring 2021 semester and that suggestions will be shared with the committee and administration.
Suggestions for the spring semester can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org until Nov. 19 at 4:30 p.m.