BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Twenty-nine students at Western Kentucky University are in isolation as a result of what WKU is calling a super spread.
WKU Acting Provost Cheryl Stevens notified the faculty of a COVID-19 cluster on Thursday afternoon. The university said the cluster was the result of one student who refused to quarantine after testing positive for the virus.
The university is working with the Barren River Health Department to build contact tracing cases, and so far, they have noticed several students contacted belong to the same organization. Two residence halls were also affected, resulting in about a dozen students having to isolate.
Director of Media Relations Bob Skipper says the university has had to act quickly with the investigation.
“For us what that points to is the importance of completing that contact tracing and cooperating with the health department and university officials and isolating quickly to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Skipper.
Testing is available at the university’s clinic. Students experiencing symptoms can take a rapid test and receive their results within 15 to 20 minutes. Students who are not experiencing symptoms can opt for a test that will give them their results in about 24 hours. There are students both on and off-campus who will have to isolate the next 10-14 days.
As the investigation continues, Skipper said the one student who the university believes is the cause for the super spread can face disciplinary and legal action from the health department and the university.
“They face a number of consequences up to being dismissed from school or maybe dismissed from the residence halls, just depending on the situation and what our student disciplinary team finds,” said Skipper.
Students who are feeling ill should get tested and reach out to the university as soon as possible.
“It is extremely important that if someone tests positive they immediately call the COVID hotline on our campus and they will give them. Further instructions on what to do. They need to cooperate with the health department when the contact tracing begins and by taking these steps it helps keep this from spreading,” said Skipper.
You can contact the university’s COVID-19 hotline at 270-745-2019.