UK requires reentry, follow-up COVID-19 testing for students on campus

Posted at 9:51 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 09:51:03-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Starting Thursday, students returning to the University of Kentucky’s campus will once again be required to undergo COVID-19 testing.

“What we've learned I think is testing is really important. That's why we're going to do even more tests. We did about 50,000 tests last fall. We will do many more tests in the spring,” said UK spokesman Jay Blanton.

Blanton says COVID-19 testing guides officials on what other actions to take to keep the campus safe. One new action this semester is adding testing sites.

The Blue Lot at Kroger Field will be an option for drive-thru testing, just like in the fall. There will also be two walk-up locations -- the Blue Box Theater in the Gatton Student Center and the K-Lair dining facility in Haggin Hall.

The university will also require students to periodically test throughout the semester.

“We're working on the frequency of what that's going to look like right now, but throughout the semester, we'll ask students to come in and test again,” said Blanton. “So, we're getting sort of an ongoing look at what's going on in our campus.”

COVID-19 testing is mandatory for all students and strongly recommended for faculty and staff. Reentry testing will be done through the end of the month.

In addition to these testing plans, UK is developing vaccination plans for groups outside of healthcare workers.

“Whether those are essential workers or workers who are over a certain age or workers who may have an underlying health condition. Over the course of the next several weeks and months, we'll be vaccinating more and more of our campus,” said Blanton.

The university will also test wastewater in the residence halls as it did in the fall.