With Kansas State University students returning to class next week, Jeff Morris, K-State Vice President of Communications and Marketing, says an uptick in COVID-19 cases is likely.
“We know in this kind of environment, we’re likely to see cases surge in the next few weeks as people come in from all these different places,” Morris said. “Being able to stay on top of it as it occurs is probably the most important thing for us.”
Andrew Adams, public health emergency preparedness coordinator for the Riley County Health Department, recently stated that they expect case numbers to be between what has been seen recently and what was seen in late June, although they don’t have specific figures.
With this in mind, K-State officials have chosen not to implement mandatory testing for students, staff and faculty upon their return to campus and will instead focus on known cases.
According to Morris, testing someone once without a plan to do frequent follow-up testing likely would not work well because that patient could be exposed to COVID-19 shortly afterward.
“We’re really going to focus on people that are symptomatic,” Morris said. “We’re going to test people that have reason to be tested or have been closely exposed and then also work hard on the contact-tracing piece of it.”
Dr. Kyle Goerl, medical director at Lafene Health Center, says through partnerships with the Biosecurity Research Institute and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, K-State can return test results to patients within a day to a day and a half of the tests being administered.
Through the “Every Wildcat a Wellcat” campaign, K-State will also give students health kits which will contain, among other items, a face covering and thermometer.