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University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University to require masks indoors while on campus

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Aug 06, 2021

(LEX 18) — Two Kentucky universities say they will require masks to be worn inside indoor spaces, regardless of one's vaccination status.

In an email to students and employees, University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto said masks would be required indoors at their academic and medical campuses beginning Monday, Aug. 9.

"Although it is much less likely that a vaccinated individual would contract the virus, show symptoms, or become seriously ill, masking will likely help reduce the risk even further," said Capilouto."

Masks will also be required indoors at Kentucky State University. Campus community members are highly encouraged to get vaccinated if they have not already done so yet. Testing and vaccinations are available to the campus community Monday, Aug. 9 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at William Exum Center.

"We are so excited to return to campus in person. I highly encourage everyone who hasn't done so to get vaccinated so we can remain in person and keep the campus in the green or gold operational alert status," Kentucky State University Acting President Clara Ross Stamps said.

KSU faculty will return to campus for Fall 2021 Encampment and back to the classroom on Aug. 14.

UK's Mask Policy:

  • Regardless of your vaccination status, you must wear masks in all indoor spaces on campus where people gather — classrooms, the Gatton Student Center, office spaces, our recreational facilities, and in common gathering spaces like the lobby of a residence hall.
  • If you are in your office meeting with someone and you both have been vaccinated, a mask is not required.
  • Similarly, if a student is in a residence hall room and is with their roommate or has a guest — and everyone is vaccinated — a mask is not required.
  • However, in hallways and gathering areas, conference rooms, and lobbies where people come together, masks should be worn by everyone, irrespective of vaccination status.
  • Masks are not required for anyone alone in indoor or outdoor spaces. However, unvaccinated individuals should wear masks outside when around other people.

Capilouto says a committee he leads — comprised of representatives from the student body, faculty, and staff — has met multiple times over the past few weeks to talk about policies and procedures around COVID-19. A fall guide will be available soon and will be circulated widely across the campus.

"The consensus was clear that mandatory indoor masking is a prudent and appropriate step, given rising rates of COVID-19 infections, dominated by a more transmissible variant," said Capilouto.

The vaccination percentage among returning students, faculty, and staff at UK is more than 70%. More than 2,000 people have verified that they have been vaccinated. Their goal is to vaccinate more than 80% of the campus early in the academic year.

The university is still gathering feedback from the campus. If you have questions or areas of concern, email coronavirus@uky.edu.