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The Antelope

The Antelope

Possible COVID-19 cases on campus prompt exodus

student moving out


UNK officials informed the community Friday that two campus residents have symptoms similar to that of COVID-19. This revelation accompanied a message advising students to leave residence halls for the remainder of the semester.

The email announcement laid out what students should expect in the days to come. 

“In an effort to control the spread of COVID-19, the University of Nebraska at Kearney is advising students who are able to move from campus residence halls,” said Todd Gottula of UNK Communications in the news email. “If students have the wherewithal, UNK recommends that they not return to campus following spring break.”

The email prompted a mass exodus going into the weekend facilitated by revised parking limitations. 

These revisions were included in a UNK student bulletin released in the hours following the announcement. On-campus students are now allowed to park in zones typically reserved for commuters and faculty until the end of the semester. Other parking rules still apply, such as handicap, 30-minute and Loper parking, as well as overnight parking in select slots.

Other logistics changes have been made during this process, such as consolidation of front desk services for certain halls. Amid the concern of spread, new restrictions limit the use of check-out equipment from front desks. 

In the wake of these announcements, university leadership offered its own message for students.

“Our world has taken a different shape over the past two weeks as we work together to respond to the Coronavirus/COVID 19 [sic] pandemic,” said Chancellor Douglas Kristensen in an email addressing the future of this semester. “Our goal is to work together – faculty, staff, the greater community, and you – to best protect ourselves and each other while also providing the best education possible. My goal as chancellor is to listen to you and do whatever I can to make the rest of this semester both productive and healthy.”

University and local health officials are handling both student cases as if they were confirmed COVID-19 patients. Thus far, neither student has been tested for the virus due to lack of testing resources. 

The possibility remains that more students have been infected and are asymptomatic. If you develop symptoms characteristic of the virus such as cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, headaches or fever, contact local or UNK health officials as appropriate. 

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