COVID-19 case rates at KU down significantly in past 2 weeks; number of students in isolation now only 6

photo by: Conner Mitchell/Journal-World

COVID-19 protocols adorn a doorway on the University of Kansas campus.

Over the past two weeks, the University of Kansas has confirmed only 30 new cases of COVID-19, a significant drop from the rates recorded earlier in the semester, data released Tuesday shows.

KU has confirmed 1,101 total cases of COVID-19 since the school year began in August, an increase of only three cases since data was last released on Friday and an increase of 30 cases in the last 14 days — or one incubation period of the respiratory virus. For comparison, in some updates earlier this month, the university was seeing case counts rise by as many as 41 or 51 cases over a period of seven days.

Also down dramatically is the number of KU students confirmed to be in isolation or quarantine because of COVID-19. In the data update released on Oct. 13, there were 27 students in isolation, meaning they had the virus, and 67 students in quarantine, meaning they came in close contact with a confirmed positive case. In Tuesday’s data update from the university, six students were in isolation and 41 were in quarantine. That means the number of students in isolation has fallen by 77% since the Oct. 13 update, and the overall number of students sequestered away because of COVID-19 has fallen by 50%.

KU’s data update Tuesday showed a marked decrease since the Oct. 13 update in every metric the university publicly tracks. The percentage of symptomatic patients testing positive for the virus at Watkins Health Center fell from 20.83% to 3.85%; the percentage of people testing positive through tests conducted at a drive-thru clinic in the parking lot of Naismith Hall fell from 20% to 6.25%; and the rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Douglas County residents fell from 119 in the Oct. 13 update to 71 in Tuesday’s update.

The overall percentage of positive tests in the seven-day periods that the two updates covered also fell significantly. In the Oct. 13 update, which covered tests from Oct. 5 to Oct. 11, 51 KU community members tested positive for COVID-19 out of 1,124 tests conducted, a rate of 4.34%. In Tuesday’s update, which covered tests from Oct. 19 to Oct. 25, only eight people tested positive for the virus out of 803 tests, a rate just below 1%.

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