As we continue to emerge from this pandemic, we are taking steps as a university to adjust our COVID-19 policies to reflect the progress we have made as the impacts of this virus have stabilized.
Based on feedback from health experts on our START team, as of Monday, April 4, we will no longer require unvaccinated members of our community to be tested weekly for COVID-19. (This does not apply to UK HealthCare employees who fall under the CMS mandate).
More than 90% of our campus community is vaccinated. We have seen a significant drop in the number of positive cases on our campus over the past several weeks and – because of the vaccine – an overall mitigation of the virus itself.
Furthermore, members of our coronavirus data management team have emphasized that our data indicated no significant changes in positive cases following spring break. Incidence rates in Fayette County and throughout our state continue to decline, along with the numbers of COVID-19 patients in UK HealthCare facilities. And, as of Thursday, March 31, the CDC considers residents of Fayette County to be at a low risk of contracting or transmitting COVID-19. The CDC encourages individuals to stay up to date with vaccinations and test if they experience symptoms.
This decision is driven by data and reflects similar changes made by other institutions. Throughout the pandemic, our approach to COVID-19 policies has centered on the well-being of our community, with a foundation of guidance from our START team. Our high vaccination numbers coupled with the steady decline in positive cases indicate the success of our efforts to keep our community safe. These numbers also signify that now is the appropriate time to adjust the policy around testing.
As we make these changes, we want to emphasize that our modern public health infrastructure remains in place. UK Health Corps is still operational and here to support our community’s health and safety.
It is important to note that other COVID-19 policies currently remain in place. At this time, masks are still required in classrooms during classes, in laboratories, in offices and meeting rooms and in health care settings, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. Masks will be voluntary at commencement ceremonies in accordance with current policies.
I am deeply grateful for all the ways you have prioritized the health of our entire community over the past two years. I know you will continue to maintain this commitment, even as we transition to more open policies.
Thank you for everything you do.