Student paper urges University of Kansas not to reopen as 87 test positive for COVID-19
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The student newspaper at University of Kansas urged the school not to reopen next week after it reported Thursday that 87 people tested positive for COVID-19.

The University Daily Kansan’s editorial board published an editorial calling on the university to reverse its decision to start in-person classes Monday. The students pointed to other schools that have shut down in-person instruction after reopening like University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame.

“Make no mistake,” the editorial board wrote. “A similar story will likely play out at the University of Kansas if it follows through on plans to bring students back to classes in person starting Monday.”

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The students slammed university officials for “months of cryptic preparations” and for using “economics” as the “science-based approach to reopen campus.”

“It appears that the science used to build the Protect KU plan is economics,” the students wrote. “Students have become the revenue KU needs to stay open. Health and education, meanwhile, are subverted for the sake of a few weeks of cash.”

“Reopening campus now is too much of a gamble,” the editorial added. “The risk is health, safety and lives. There’s only one true science-based approach: KU must reverse course now.”

The University Daily Kansan’s staff editorial comes as the university announced that 87 students and two faculty and staff members tested positive during the school’s initial testing of 7,088 people.

Those who tested positive were directed to self-isolate.

University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod released a statement saying the positivity rate amounted to 1.25 percent.

“When we decided to move forward with broad entry testing of our community, we knew that inevitably we would receive some positive results,” he said in a letter to students, faculty and staff. “This positivity rate is in line with what we’ve expected and prepared for as we began this process in consultation with our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team.”

The chancellor said a “large majority” of the positive student population came from “our fraternity and sorority community.” Girod said he met with leaders of the organizations Wednesday night “to stress the importance of adhering to the health and safety guidelines and rules.”

The chancellor also mentioned the “staged move-in process” for on-campus housing allowed students who tested positive to be identified early enough for them to isolate at their permanent addresses before moving to campus. There are currently no students self-isolating in on-campus housing.