KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread across the world, and in Missouri and Kansas.
5:30 p.m. | The number of COVID-19 cases at the University of Kansas more than doubled during a 72-hour stretch this week.
In a message Friday to the university community, KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said as of Thursday night, 474 COVID-19 tests had come back positive for a positivity rate of 2.18 percent.
In his message Tuesday, Girod reported 222 positive tests and a positivity rate of 1.14 percent. -SH
4:35 p.m. | The Riley County, Kansas, Health Department and Kansas State University said Friday that four sororities are battling outbreaks of COVID-19 as the university battles a spike in cases.
The four sororities - Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega and Kappa Delta all have each least five COVID-19 cases each. Health officials say any member of a Greek house that has had an outbreak should quarantine for 14 days.
“The leaders of local fraternities and sororities are cooperating with health department staff, but we have concerns that the safety messages are not reaching all of the members,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said Friday in a release.
According to a release Friday from the university, the number of students either in quarantine or isolation jumped nearly 170 percent, from 198 students last Friday to 531 students this Friday. -SH
4 p.m. | Missouri added 1,614 new COVID-19 cases to its statewide total on Friday, part of more than 3,000 new cases reported in the last two days. According to data from the state Department of Health and Senior Services, the seven-day positivity rate in Missouri sits at 12.3%.
Kansas reported 896 new cases on Friday. In the seven-county Kansas City metro, 613 new cases were added. —AW
2:30 p.m. | With a little more than two weeks from their season opener on Sept. 12, the Kansas State Wildcats football team said Friday seven players have tested positive for COVID-19.
A spokesperson for K-State Athletics said Friday that despite the positive tests, practice - and the Sept. 12 season opener vs Arkansas State - will continue as normal.
“We have very strict protocols and procedures that we have been following for months and will continue to do so,” the spokesperson said via e-mail Friday afternoon. -SH
1:45 p.m. | Olathe Public Schools will resume fall sports practices on Monday, though competitions will continue to be prohibited through Friday, Sept. 11.
At the district's Board of Education meeting on Thursday, members plan to discuss if and when competitions will take place. —AW
12:40 p.m. | With nearly 300 University of Missouri students infected with the coronavirus and cases also rising among permanent residents of Columbia, the city is limiting crowd sizes and requiring bars to close early. Health director Stephanie Browning says new cases of COVID-19 “are increasing exponentially." She cites a test positivity rate of 44.6% last week as evidence of “widespread community transmission," according to an Associated Press report.
11:50 a.m. | The Blue Springs School District has released its guidelines for fall sports after the Greater Kansas City Suburban Conference voted this week to allow athletics to proceed as planned.
The district said in a letter to families on Thursday that spectators will be limited at athletic events and must wear masks, practice social distancing and sit with their own group. At some events outside of the Blue Springs School District, fans may not be permitted, which is the case tonight when Blue Springs South takes on Lee's Summit North on the road.
Blue Springs athletes participating in fall activities will be cleared daily after a temperature and symptom check. Everyone will wear masks until practice begins, and some programs will wear masks as much as possible during practice, according to the district.
"Our students have been given the privilege of playing during the pandemic," the district said in its message. "We need your help to make sure that continues by strictly abiding by the guidelines we have set forth."
For more information on the district's policies, read the full message online. —AW
9:35 a.m. | Miami County, Kansas, businesses or nonprofit organizations in need of masks will want to make a note of a free mask distribution Saturday.
The Miami County Emergency Management is providing disposable masks from 9 to 11 a.m. at Osawatomie City Hall and from noon to 2 p.m. at Louisburg High School.
9 a.m. | The Kansas Department of Labor said Friday that it is extending its call center hours due to high volumes associated with the coronavirus pandemic-related employment uncertainty.
People will now be able to call KDOL from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
Callers who call on Saturday and after 4 p.m. during the weekday will have a more limited set of options: general inquiries and frequently asked questions; claim status updates; technical issue assistance and weekly claim filings.
More information is available at getkansasbenefits.gov - SH
7:45 a.m. | Here are your morning headlines: