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.”

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 four 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 five 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.