21 more COVID-19 cases confirmed at KU; percentage of symptomatic patients testing positive again falls

photo by: Conner Mitchell/Journal-World

A social distancing sign sits at a bus stop on the University of Kansas campus.

The University of Kansas has confirmed another 21 cases of COVID-19 since it last released data on Friday, and the cumulative case total at Kansas’ flagship university now sits at 971.

A total of 954 tests conducted from Sept. 21 to Sept. 27 revealed 31 positive cases, though 10 of those were also included in Friday’s data update, which covered testing from Sept. 17 to Sept. 23.

Also, the percentage of symptomatic patients testing positive at KU’s Watkins Health Center has fallen below 10% — the first time it’s been that low since KU started releasing data about symptomatic testing at the on-campus health care provider. The symptomatic percent positive rate, which was roughly 27% a week ago, was at only 7.1% Tuesday after eight people tested positive out of 112 orders for the nasal swab testing.

This metric does come with the caveat that some of those tests may not yet have confirmed results — KU previously told the Journal-World that the turnaround time for results from swab tests was between three and seven days, so some of the results might not have come back in time to be recorded on the dashboard update.

The metric also doesn’t include tests conducted at the drive-thru testing clinic for symptomatic patients in the parking lot of Naismith Hall. From Sept. 21 to Sept. 27, the drive-thru clinic confirmed 13 positive cases from 34 total tests — a rate of 38.2%. That’s an increase from the week prior, when 35.85% of people visiting the drive-thru clinic tested positive.

Overall, the clinic has tested 87 people with 32 positive results, or a rate of 36.8%. The clinic operates Thursdays through Sundays and can test as many as 50 people each day.

A few more numbers of note from Tuesday’s update:

• The university’s prevalence testing yielded fewer positive results than in past data updates. Out of 808 total tests, there were only 10 positive results — a positive rate of 1.2%.

• KU confirmed a slight increase in the number of students confirmed to be isolating and quarantining because of COVID-19. Last week, there were 86 such students, and this week there are 92 such students — 17 in isolation, meaning they have the virus, and 75 in quarantine, meaning they came in close contact with someone who tested positive.

• The rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Douglas County residents ticked upward from Friday’s data update. On Friday, KU said the rate was 124 cases per 100,000 residents; on Tuesday, it had risen to 133 cases per 100,000 residents.

KU will next release COVID-19 data on Friday, in addition to a new short-term forecast from its Pandemic Medical Advisory Team.

Contact Conner Mitchell

Have a story idea, news or information to share? Contact KU reporter Conner Mitchell:


Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.