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LDCPH removes two chapter houses from quarantine list, adds one

Lawrence-Douglas Co. Public Health officials issues quarantine orders Aug. 26, 2020 for 9 KU...
Lawrence-Douglas Co. Public Health officials issues quarantine orders Aug. 26, 2020 for 9 KU Greek community chapter houses.
Published: Aug. 26, 2020 at 8:25 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has removed two chapter houses from its University of Kansas Greek Life quarantine list and has added an additional house.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department says it has removed Phi Kappa Psi and Kappa Alpha Theta from its University of Kansas Greek Life quarantine list and has added Pi Betta Phi.

LDCH says currently the two houses removed from the list do not have any cases of COVID-19 and members within the residence are no longer quarantined. It says all positive cases in the two associations live outside of the chapter houses and are not allowed in until isolation is complete.

Aug. 26, 8:25 p.m.

Health officials issue quarantine for 9 KU Greek community houses

Lawrence-Douglas Co. Public Health officials issued quarantine orders Wednesday night for residents of nine University of Kansas Greek community chapter houses, with an order for a tenth in the works.

Health officials say the orders stem from contact tracing of recent positive cases.

“This is one of the most effective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are asymptomatic, it is important to comply with this directive, especially to protect those in our community who are at high risk,” Douglas Co. Local Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino said in a news release. “In cases where contacts are identified in Greek chapter houses, we consider them as living in a household. And household members are considered high risk.”

The orders apply to chapter houses for: Pi Kappa Phi, Phi Gamma Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Kappa Psi, Gamma Phi Beta, Delta Delta Delta, Alpha Chi Omega, Sigma Nu, Kappa Alpha Theta and Beta Theta Pi.

The order extends only to those who live at the houses, not to members who live elsewhere. Those affected must quarantine and monitor for symptoms for 14 days. Health officials say students may choose to serve their quarantine at their permanent residence.

KU officials said, as of Tuesday afternoon, 222 of the more than 19,000 students and staff tested came back positive for COVID-19. The positivity rate was 1.14 percent overall. However, among members of the Greek community, it was 5.47 percent. Both university leaders and public health officials met with Greek community members Wednesday night. They outlined the process they followed in deciding to issue the orders, and offered advice for moving forward.

“We commend the members of this community who are taking positive steps to this end, and encourage that work to continue,” KU Chancellor Doug Girod said in a campus message issued Tuesday. “No single group will ultimately be responsible for our overall success or failure in combating this disease. That responsibility rests with all of us.”

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