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Administration waits four days to inform UMKC of student with COVID-19

According to a report by the Kansas City Star, UMKC administration allegedly knew of a law student who had the coronavirus for four days before informing the campus.

The mother of the student, Louise Lynch, told The Star that she had told administration her daughter had tested positive for the virus the day it happened, March 21. An email was sent to staff and students by the university on March 25.

In a statement to The Star, Director of Media Relations John Martellaro said that the university reported the information as soon as they heard word from the health department. However, the student’s mother states that she personally informed the university beforehand.

The student was last on campus on March 16. With the incubation period of the virus lasting up to two weeks, students and staff alike could have been infected. SGA President Justice Horn told The Star that two other students in the law school have been presumed positive for the virus.

The university is under fire from the SGA for withholding the information, as well as not stating the academic department of the student or the locations they have visited.  A statement released by all branches of the SGA states that this could lead to students “inadvertently spreading the virus to others in their family or community.” 

The SGA, which is meeting with upper administration on the issue on April 6, has vehemently expressed its displeasure with the university’s actions in this case. 

“One of UMKC’s greatest attributes has been its emphasis on putting students first,” writes the SGA. “The revelations reported on by The Kansas City Star cast serious doubt on upper administration’s commitment to that basic tenant of our university.”

UNews will continue to cover this issue in further detail

samuelbellefy@mail.umkc.edu

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