FHSU Student Athlete Identified As Positive With UK Variant of COVID-19


A Fort Hays State University student-athlete who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus as part of the university’s weekly student athlete testing program, has been identified through whole genome sequencing as positive for the UK variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

Case investigation and contact tracing are ongoing. Individuals who are at an elevated risk will be notified. KDHE will deploy a mobile lab to Fort Hays State University later today. KDHE will conduct on-site testing that will yield positive or negative results within four hours. They will also collect samples that will be sent to the state lab for whole-genome sequencing analysis to identify potential COVID-19 variants.

Fort Hays State University’s Critical Incident Policy Group, Tiger Athletics, FHSU Student Health Center, KDHE and the Ellis County Health Department are working closely to coordinate the next steps in our joint response to the identification of this UK variant of the virus in Ellis County.

Fort Hays State University and the Ellis County Health Department want the people of Ellis County to know that the best way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its evolving variants is to continue to adhere to essential health and safety precautions, including maintaining physical distancing, wearing face masks, practicing good hygiene, staying home if ill, following isolation and quarantine recommendations, and getting vaccinated as soon as it is available.

The latest information on COVID-19 variants is available on the Centers for Disease Control Prevention’s website at:

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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