HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – One day after the state health department announced that someone in Ellis County has the UK variant of the coronavirus, we now know it is a Fort Hays State University student-athlete.
FHSU and Ellis County released a joint statement saying the athlete tested positive for the coronavirus as part of the university’s weekly student athlete testing program.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) conducted whole-genome sequencing and found the student to be positive for the UK variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Health workers are investigating and doing contact tracing. They will notify anyone who is thought to be at an elevated risk.
The KDHE is sending a mobile lab to FHSU today. Workers will do on-site coronavirus testing that will get results within four hours. They will also send samples to the state lab to see if anyone else has a COVID-19 variant.
The university says its Critical Incident Policy Group, Tiger Athletics, FHSU Student Health Center, KDHE and the Ellis County Health Department are working closely to coordinate their efforts.
FHSU and the health department say the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and any variants continues to be through social distancing, wearing a face mask, practicing good hygiene, staying home when ill, following isolation and quarantine recommendations, and getting vaccinated as soon as it is available.