LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 10, 2021) — University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto issued a weekly update to the campus community about the university's response to COVID-19 on the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 10. You can read that message below.
I reported to our Board of Trustees this afternoon that, as of last night, 81.5% of our campus community has been fully vaccinated or is in the process of becoming vaccinated.
That’s up more than 10 percentage points in roughly a month. For the purposes of this effort, we are defining that cohort of vaccinated individuals as those who are coming to campus here in Fayette County. That’s about 40,000 people (faculty, staff and students) out of a cohort of almost 50,000 total members of our community.
In terms of community, students, faculty and staff, the numbers break down this way:
Overall – 81.5%
Faculty – 88.8%
Staff – 81.3%
Students – 80.7%
All of these data are now reflected on our COVID-19 dashboard, along with a more detailed explanation of how we calculate the numbers.
We have surpassed our initial goal of 80 percent before the first month of classes has been completed. That progress — and reaching that milestone in our efforts — is attributable to you and so many others in our community.
But that goal was only a starting point, not a finishing line.
We need to press toward 85 percent and even higher, if possible, in the coming weeks.
We also will continue other mitigation measures to protect our community, most significantly our indoor masking requirement across campus for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status.
These measures will stay for now.
Yet, there is no question: Vaccines are our best tool against this illness. They have been shown, in incredibly effective fashion, to reduce the likelihood of serious illness or death.
No vaccine is 100 percent effective, but these are remarkable.
Just ask the health care heroes at our medical center who are on the frontlines in fighting this virus every day.
And getting more of our community vaccinated will require our continued and unrelenting efforts to educate — educate about their efficacy; educate about their safety; educate about how they allow us to protect ourselves and those we love.
To that end, next week, we will announce both employee incentives to vaccinate and compliance measures for our mandatory weekly testing for those who have not taken this step.
I’m deeply appreciative of the input I’ve received in recent weeks about these programs from our elected faculty, staff and student representatives. Their input has been essential in formulating incentives and compliance measures that are meaningful and also fair.
Our efforts thus far reinforce for me what I have known since I joined this community more than 10 years ago: there is nothing we can’t do together.
Thank you for your commitment to the health and safety of everyone in our community.