LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — On Friday, the University of Kentucky began a regimen of random testing among its student population as part of continued efforts to use science and data to drive decisions around keeping the community safe.
The announcement, recommended by UK's START team, follows a productive dialogue in which senior leaders engaged earlier in the week with Dr. Deborah Birx, the national coronavirus response coordinator.
Here are the details of the next steps:
- Starting Friday, Sept. 18, UK Health Corps will begin notifying students that they have been selected for required random COVID-19 testing. This will only include students physically coming to campus.
- These tests will be administered at no cost to students, through UK's existing student testing site at The 90 and at the new student testing lane at the community site at College Way.
- This random testing will take place throughout the remainder of the semester.
Guided by recommendations from federal experts, as well as the START team of world-class clinicians and specialists, officials said they believe this initiative will continue to make the campus a safer place to fulfill UK's missions of education, research, service, and care. Data gathered through this process will further inform decisions.
Other steps the University of Kentucky says they have taken to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Testing wastewater from residence halls. Data collected through this method can reveal the virus' presence in a given facility. This new initiative is informing efforts, which will begin this weekend, to require retesting among students who live in residence halls, as directed by the data emerging from this innovative detection method.
- Expansion of optional retesting, at no cost, for any student who wishes to receive a test. Students can sign up at any time for an appointment at the testing site here.
- Implementation of COVID-19 testing for employees, at no cost, through our community testing sites at College Way and Eastern State Hospital. Employees can sign up for an appointment here.
"Everything we do is conceived — and implemented — with one goal in mind: keeping you safe," UK President Eli Capilouto said.