The University of Kansas has issued a public health ban to students living in two houses off campus after a video showed crowded weekend parties, a KU spokeswoman said Monday afternoon.
“Most of our students do the right thing, but we do not tolerate selfish and irresponsible behavior that endangers the health and safety of our society,” said Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, KU’s director of news and media relations, in an email.
The number of students who issued the ban was not immediately available.
The ban comes after a video showed students from the University of Kansas at crowded house parties last weekend.
“While the university has received reports from off-campus parties, there has often not been enough information to act on ̵
Ward Lyles, an associate professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration, posted a series of videos to Twitter of a crowded party Saturday in the 1100 block on Mississippi Street, which is right on the KU campus.
“Masks? Social distance? No, ”Lyles tweeted. “Super spreading event? Yes. ”
Lyles also observed two “massive” parties on the streets of Alabama and Kentucky
The sight of mass gatherings at house parties has Douglas County health officials urging people to make better choices.
“It is the responsibility of each individual to be smart and safe, thereby protecting others from COVID,” said Dan Partridge, Director of Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health. “The spread of COVID will be curbed not by orders, but by all of us who do our part.”
This message, however, seemed to be ignored by some college-age students in Lawrence over the weekend who packed parties in off-campus housing.
In an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus in Lawrence and Douglas County, local health officials issued an emergency order earlier this month that partially banned mass gatherings of more than 45 people.
Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol must also stop serving alcohol at. 21 and close at kl. 22, including outside seating or terraces. They may offer execution, curbs and food delivery after noon. 22, but they can not offer alcohol. Restaurants that do not serve alcohol should not be closed at 22.00
Kansas’ public health ordinances specify that enforcement is responsible for law enforcement, Partridge said.
“We have worked with them to see what is possible, but more discussions are needed,” he said. These discussions focus on how best to enforce public health orders in the legal process.
“Our focus in public health is on keeping orders as an end,” he said.
Lyles, however, said that when police stopped at one of the homes while he was there, officers told him they could not do anything about the crowd. It fell under the jurisdiction of the health department, not the police department, he was told.
Lawrence police later issued a statement Monday that said it handled calls related to the parties received as noise or complaints about loud music. They did not result in quotes.
“The ability of the police department to enforce local health orders, including the issuance of citations or the arrest for violation of such orders, is limited by law,” said Lawrence Police spokesman Patrick Compton. In general, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office handles these types of complaints that any member of the public can bring directly to that office or to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.
“If a county bureau receives a complaint about a breach of an emergency order associated with one of our calls for service, the police will provide all reports or information associated with the call to the agency to the full extent we are in able to.
“These are unprecedented times, and LPD is constantly working with local and county agencies to navigate the enforcement of public health orders. We encourage everyone to follow the recommendations of state and local health agencies to protect themselves and each other from the virus. ”