COM Class of 2025
White Coating Ceremony

COVID-19 Update - August 6, 2021

Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone the upcoming White Coating Ceremonies.

As we approach next week’s celebrations, we have closely monitored COVID-19 positivity testing and hospitalization rates in the communities surrounding Kansas City and Joplin. There are several factors that led KCU leadership to make this decision:

  • Our area health departments, along with the chief medical officers of major health systems serving our communities, have publicly and privately pleaded that we all play an active role in mitigating the risks associated with the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.

  • Counties in the broader Kansas City metropolitan region have high or substantial rates of transmission and hospitalizations are increasing, almost entirely among non-vaccinated people. Critical care units report greater than an 80% occupancy rate and many individual facilities are seeing occupancy rates greater than 95%.

  • Recently, Jasper County (which includes Joplin) has experienced substantial rates of COVID transmission. Hospital occupancy rates in this region are also at or above 80% with some health systems reporting 100% occupancy.

Because Kansas City, Joplin and the surrounding regions are considered to be “hot spots” for the transmission of COVID-19 Delta variant, we cannot ensure the protection of your family and friends who would travel to and attend these very large indoor gatherings. For the health and safety of all concerned, we must act responsibly, do the right thing, and postpone the ceremonies. KCU knows this is a great disappointment to you and your families.

The White Coating Ceremonies for the Class of 2025 are not canceled but postponed until a time when we can celebrate in the manner you deserve.

Please continue to follow the safety protocols of masking, physically distancing and washing your hands often. Encourage your loved ones to be vaccinated. Your efforts do make a difference.