LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2020) — Beginning this week, some University of Kentucky students living on campus who are in quarantine due to exposure to COVID-19, will be invited to participate in a research study to determine if a testing strategy early during their quarantine is predictive of them remaining negative on day 14 –the typical length for quarantine. Ultimately, the study results could aid in providing more information to determine if this testing strategy could safely shorten the period of quarantine.
The study is among the latest measures taken as part of UK’s START(Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart and Transition) program, according to Dr. Robert DiPaola, team lead of the START program and dean of the UK College of Medicine.
UK students who are in quarantine that are interested in participating in the study will be asked to provide nasal swab samples on days three, five, seven, 10 and 14 of their quarantine, said Jill Kolesar, professor in the UK College of Pharmacy and co-principal investigator for the study.
"The goal is to determine if students testing negative early in quarantine will remain negative on day 14, possibly leading to data that can lessen current protocols for a 14-day quarantine period,” Kolesar said.
About 100 UK students will be enrolled in the first phase of the study which should be completed in about one month, she said.
Results from the UK study will be shared with the CDC for consideration in future protocols and guidelines.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.