Professional News

Free On-campus COVID-19 Testing Expanded to Include UK Campus Employees

photo of covid-19 testing at Kroger Field
Wild Health personnel at the drive-thru testing location at Kroger Field. Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2020) — The University of Kentucky announced Friday that it will begin offering free on-campus testing, beginning Monday, Aug. 10, to any UK campus employee who will be working on site this fall.

This expansion follows the successful kickoff of student COVID-19 testing with UK’s partner Wild Health, which began Aug. 3. This testing is available for on-site faculty and staff, regardless of how frequently they will work on site.

UK HealthCare will continue its employee testing that has been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 response in March.

President Capilouto, in a campus email announcing the plans, noted that the expansion was a result of both thoughtful feedback from the UK Staff Senate and University Senate Council, as well as recommendations from the Fall 2020 Playbook for Reinvented Operations. The playbook called for making additional employee testing available once student baseline testing had begun for the semester.

“In this unsure time, the Staff Senate has been proud to be heavily involved in the design and implementation around the restart process,” said UK Staff Senate Chair Jon Gent. “The expansion of testing for staff and faculty shows how much this administration listens to and cares for the entire UK community.”

Completing a COVID-19 test is not required for returning to on-site work, at the recommendation of our team of UK HealthCare providers and other clinical and research leaders at UK. In addition to free testing sites available throughout the state, on-campus testing will be a new option.

On Monday, employees will receive an email with instructions to schedule a test time and select a location, using their 8-digit UK employee ID. After scheduling, employees will receive a follow-up communication with instructions to registerduring which time employees will provide additional important information. Individuals should complete both steps before arriving at a testing site.

The same on-campus testing sites now used for students will be available for employees. Employees will need to show their UK employee ID. More information on how to complete a test will be available in the coming days. Drive-through testing will be available at the Blue Lot at Kroger Field. Walk-up testing locations include:

Testing is available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week. Employee testing at these locations will be free, regardless of health insurance.

The institution will immediately communicate any adjustments to testing locations or hours after the student testing period concludes on Aug. 22.

While testing is not required for employees, individuals should consider getting a test if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, if they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or if they have traveled to an area with significant community spread of the virus. If employees are symptomatic, they should not come to campus for testing; instead, they should immediately contact their health care provider.

Contact the UK Health Corps with any questions about this at healthcorps@uky.edu or 218-SAFE.

“The decision to make COVID-19 testing available to faculty and staff employees is an investment in reducing the risk to our employees,” said Aaron Cramer, chair of the UK University Senate Council. “Providing the opportunity for employees to determine their COVID-19 status will help protect the health of individuals, the campus and the larger community.”

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.