LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As the University of Kentucky's class of 2025 prepares to begin class Monday, some students say they're concerned about the surge in COVID-19 cases happening in the commonwealth but encouraged by the university's efforts to get people vaccinated.
On Friday, incoming freshmen were welcomed to the university with a ceremony at Kroger Field.
"I can't wait. I honestly can't wait to see all of the freshman class of 2025," said John Brown as he prepared to attend the event.
But despite his excitement, Brown said he remained apprehensive about the state of COVID-19 in Kentucky.
"I just need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst," he said.
Some students, like incoming freshman Madison Isaacs, were glad to see people had been wearing masks around campus when indoors.
"I'm just really praying that everyone wears their mask when we're told to and that it just goes smoothly," she said.
Many students said they felt encouraged by the University's efforts to get people vaccinated through the "Cats by 80 percent" initiative.
"All my friends, they feel safer because we're getting vaccinated and as long as people are keeping their mask on in public, we should be fine," said senior Jade Kropp.
UK hopes to have at least 80 percent of the campus community vaccinated by early in the school year. More than 70 percent of the campus community has already been vaccinated, according to the university's website.
"I really like the idea of getting us up to a certain vaccination quota so that way we can have some form of herd immunity," Brown said.
Vaccines are available in multiple locations on campus. Vaccination clinics at Gatton Student Center will be held Saturday, August 21 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, August 22 from 12 p.m.-8 p.m.