WRITER: Conner Mitchell

President of KU student group files open meetings complaint against university over lack of access to pandemic meetings

A student leader has filed a complaint with the Kansas attorney general alleging the University of Kansas is improperly keeping the public out of key meetings on how the campus will operate during the pandemic. Wes Cudney, leader of the student group Against Rising Tuition at KU, said he believes the Kansas Open Meetings Act allows members of the public to attend meetings of KU's Pandemic Medical Advisory ...

56 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed at KU; 7-day positive rate inches higher

The University of Kansas announced Tuesday that it has confirmed another 56 cases of COVID-19 since it last released data on Friday, bringing the university's cumulative case total to 938. In the most recent seven-day period for which data is available, Sept. 14-20, the KU community also tested positive at a slightly higher rate than the week prior — 6.85% compared to 4.32%, with roughly the same number of ...

As virus cases keep rising, Kansas governor voices concern over Affordable Care Act case headed to Supreme Court

Kansas' challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic could get even worse depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, Gov. Laura Kelly warned on Monday in a somewhat somber news conference. Just one week after the Nov. 3 election, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments and rule in the multi-state lawsuit. If the court scraps President Barack Obama's ...

New software can anonymously notify people of COVID-19 exposure; Kansas might not have the infrastructure to use it

This past week, Apple and Google launched similar versions of a new function built into phone software that allows public health agencies to anonymously inform people if they were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The two tech giants developed the technology earlier this year, but it wasn’t available in phone updates at first. Instead, it was up to health agencies to create apps ...

Reggie Robinson, former KU administrator and Board of Regents leader, dies at 63

Reggie Robinson, the current president of the Kansas Health Foundation who previously served as a longtime faculty member and administrator at the University of Kansas and as the former president and CEO of the Kansas Board of Regents, died of cancer on Saturday at the age of 63. Known for his decades of public service, Robinson served as a White House fellow and special assistant to Janet Reno, President Bill ...

KU expands symptomatic testing capacity with drive-thru swab clinic in Naismith Hall parking lot

Through a new drive-thru clinic in the parking lot of Naismith Hall, the University of Kansas now has the ability to offer an additional 50 COVID-19 tests per day specifically for those showing symptoms of the respiratory virus. Through a partnership with the KU Health System, the university can now offer 80 total tests each day for symptomatic patients, including the 30 tests that the Watkins Health Center ...

KU's new 14-day COVID-19 projection model says daily case count will fall; university reports 41 new cases

The University of Kansas on Friday unveiled a new COVID-19 forecasting tool and confirmed 41 new cases of the virus since it last released data on Tuesday, bringing the total case count at the university to 882. Chancellor Douglas Girod said the new two-week forecasting model projects what the case count will look like two weeks from now if current trends continue. "The goal of this 14-day rolling forecast ...

Public listening sessions announced for KU task force on local policing; town hall to take place Sept. 21

Three weeks after announcing the creation of a 27-member task force dedicated to reviewing policies on local policing, the University of Kansas on Wednesday announced two public listening sessions and a town hall at which the public can bring concerns to the task force. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all three sessions will take place over Zoom on the following dates: • Thursday, Sept. 17, from 1:30 to ...

KDHE skips new weekly update on COVID-19 clusters after initial feedback; Kansas passes 50,000 case threshold

Only a week after it released the first list of active COVID-19 outbreaks in Kansas, the state Department of Health and Environment on Wednesday skipped its update to review the feedback the department received the week prior. According to a statement on the department's COVID-19 dashboard, the reporting of outbreak locations should be back on schedule next week. On Sept. 9, KDHE reported the locations and ...

Governing board for KU Athletics approves requests to refinance debt, apply for emergency line of credit; department forecasting 14% less revenue for current budget year

The board overseeing Kansas Athletics on Wednesday unanimously approved two measures intended to shore up the department's financial situation as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain revenue streams. The first measure gives Athletics Director Jeff Long and CFO Pat Kaufman the authority to refinance $30 million in department debt through new bonds issued at lower interest rates. Kaufman told board members ...

KU stays stable in latest U.S. News and World Report rankings

The University of Kansas fell one spot to 60th among public universities, but moved up six spots among all universities in the 2021 edition of the U.S. News & World Report's rankings of best colleges released Monday. The rankings from the online media company that analyzes and ranks numerous aspects of American society are highly touted among universities, though they have faced criticisms from higher ...

KU reports 841 total COVID-19 cases, says community tested positive at over 10% in last week

The University of Kansas' total number of COVID-19 cases has risen to 841, the school announced Tuesday afternoon — an increase of 42 cases since Friday, when testing data was last released. Out of 779 total tests conducted between Sept. 7 and Sept. 13, 85 members of the KU community tested positive for the virus, for a positivity rate of 10.9%, the highest rate since KU began releasing data. Part of the ...

Food court in KU's DeBruce Center to close through Sept. 28 after part-time employee tests positive for COVID-19

Courtside Cafe, the food court located inside the DeBruce Center at the University of Kansas, will close through Sept. 28 after a part-time employee of KU Dining tested positive for COVID-19, the Journal-World has learned. No patrons were in close enough contact with the worker to be considered high-risk for transmission of the virus, but they are being asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms just in case. ...

Kelly says recovery task force will recommend spending 'fair chunk' of CARES Act money on expanded testing program

Story updated at 6:43 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14: TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday that Kansas' SPARK Taskforce, which is tasked with overseeing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, will advocate later this week for spending "a fair chunk" of federal CARES Act dollars on expanding the state's testing program to include tests for asymptomatic individuals. Kelly said Monday that the state so far has ...

Norman: KU, other Kansas colleges 'doing the best they can' to manage COVID-19 pandemic with limited control, supplies

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities across Kansas have been tasked with a difficult "balancing act" of trying to resume some semblance of normal educational activities while at the same time weighing significant public health concerns, the state's top health official told the Journal-World on Friday. That's why despite some public criticisms, Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the ...

KU launches new dashboard for COVID-19 data; total number of confirmed cases now 799

For the first time in over a week, the University of Kansas on Friday released new data on the prevalence of COVID-19 on its campuses as part of the unveiling of a new dashboard with expanded statistical information about the respiratory virus. Since its last data release on Sept. 2, KU has confirmed — through the conclusion of its entry testing program and the beginning of a more targeted testing effort — ...

The team leading KU's reopening decisions has met weekly for months; KU says it has no record of what they talked about

The University of Kansas won’t say whether meetings of a nine-member medical advisory team tasked with monitoring the school’s reopening process during the COVID-19 pandemic — and potentially making substantive decisions about KU’s operational status — are open to the public. And even if the group’s discussions are open to the public going forward, what KU’s Pandemic Medical Advisory Team talked ...

KDHE releases locations of COVID-19 outbreaks across Kansas, including 4 in Douglas County; KU football team listed with 14 cases

Updated at 2:46 p.m. Wednesday The Kansas Department of Health and Environment on Wednesday released for the first time a list of specific locations and case counts associated with outbreaks of COVID-19 across the state. Of the 177 active outbreaks the department is tracking, four currently stem from Douglas County, KDHE said. Bridge Haven Memory Care, at 1701 Research Park Drive, has confirmed eight cases of ...

Gene Budig, former KU chancellor, president of American League baseball, dies at 81

Updated at 3:01 p.m. Tuesday One of the longest-tenured chancellors at the University of Kansas, and the man credited with much of the modern growth of the state’s flagship university, died Tuesday morning at the age of 81. Gene Budig took over at KU in 1981 after a career as a university administrator at Illinois State University and West Virginia University, serving as a major general in the Air National ...

In virtual forum, Kelly, Davids, Bollier and Sebelius stress need for Medicaid expansion in Kansas

Four high-profile Kansas Democrats gathered virtually Tuesday to discuss what they deemed a pressing need to expand the Sunflower State's access to Medicaid — a need they said was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Laura Kelly; U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids; Kathleen Sebelius, who formerly served as Kansas governor and secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and current U.S. ...