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University of Kentucky monitoring coronavirus

Posted at 8:10 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-10 22:55:42-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Some universities in the state and across the country have moved their classes to online or canceled the semester all together due to concerns about the coronavirus. The University of Kentucky remains open. With spring break next week, a spokesman for U.K. says president Eli Capiluto has formed a work group to monitor the coronavirus.

Concerns of the coronavirus spreading has shut down classes at college campuses in Kentucky and across the country. The University of Kentucky hasn't made a decision on whether to follow suit, but a spokesman says that can change.

"President, senior leaders on our campus, we've got dozens of others who are involved in work groups that are looking at this issue, monitoring it, giving us the latest information, putting together contingency plans if we have to make some changes," Jay Blanton said.

The university has started a website where students and staff can share their travel plans with UK. In addition, they're also sharing constant updates on the virus.

The school has halted university travel to an at risk country. UK says they understand people are going to take personal trips.

"If they're coming back for instance from one of those four countries, that's at a heightened travel level. That's China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. We can have them get with our UK Healthcare folks go through that protocol, maybe go through that self isolation period," Blanton added.

While campus will be empty next week during spring break, the university plans on deep cleaning major gathering areas and hanging more signs with reminders.

"Wash your hands frequently, wash them even more and wash them even more for a longer period of time than you otherwise do," Blanton said. "Be careful when you're coughing and sniffling, how you do that. Your interactions with people. Common sense tips, they apply to the coronavirus, they apply to the flu."

Overall, UK says the number one priority is the safety of the students.