Campus News

Students Encouraged to Get COVID-19 Test Before Thanksgiving, Required to Retest in Spring

photo of drive-through testing
Drive-thru COVID-19 testing was offered at Kroger Field in August. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2020) — University of Kentucky students are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 test before departing campus for the Thanksgiving holiday, university officials announced on Friday.

In addition, similar to the fall semester, students will be required to participate in baseline testing when they return in the spring.

“Because of the good decisions you’ve made throughout the semester — and because of your commitment to protecting each other — we are approaching the end of the semester with declining numbers of active COVID-19 cases,” President Eli Capilouto said in an email to students Friday. “You’ve made sacrifices. You’ve adapted your behavior. You’ve made choices in the best interests of those around you. As we approach Thanksgiving break, and as you make plans to return home on Nov. 24, we strongly encourage you to take these same precautions.”

Exit Testing:

Students can receive a COVID-19 test at no cost through ongoing on-campus testing locations operated by UK’s partner, Wild Health, at the testing site between The 90 and William T. Young Library. Students are encouraged to time their tests appropriately, so they can receive their results before returning home, to minimize the risk of spreading the virus to family members, community members or others in their hometowns. 

Learn about scheduling a student test here.  

Employees also are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 test through UK’s community testing sites if they plan to travel for the holidays.

Re-entry Testing:

When students return to campus for classes, which begin Jan. 25, they will be required to follow baseline testing protocols similar to the fall.

Details of spring baseline testing include:

  • When: Students should receive the test, either through free on-campus testing or through an off-campus provider, between Jan. 18-31.  
  • What kind: If the test is received off campus, it must be a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. Students should upload off-campus results to UK Health Corps. A tool to upload will be available on the coronavirus website when retesting begins in January.  
  • Where: Free testing will be available through Wild Health at several of the same on-campus locations as the fall, including:  
    • The 90 (walk-up);
    • The former Blazer Dining (walk-up); and
    • Kroger Field (drive-thru).

 The university will continue communicating the details of spring testing throughout the fall and as community members prepare to return in the spring.

“These policies, made possible by our modern public health infrastructure, reflect the commitment we’ve maintained since the beginning,” Capilouto said. “The health and safety of our community are our top priorities.”

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.