LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2022) — University of Kentucky President Capilouto sent the message below to the campus community on the morning of Friday, March 4, 2022.
- A community of belonging accepts and supports everyone. We’ve seen the importance of such a community more than ever recently. We must be such a place.
- We are evaluating our masking policies and procedures in light of recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As we have throughout the pandemic, we will be guided by our health experts, science and ongoing feedback from our community.
- Even as the trendlines are all positive, we know COVID-19 remains a tremendous challenge in our state, country and world. Get vaccinated. Get your booster shot. Continue to follow the healthy behaviors that have protected and safeguarded our community so well so far.
Dear Campus Community,
In many ways, we’ve witnessed the best and worst of humanity in recent days.
An unprovoked and jarringly violent attack against a sovereign nation and its people. A refugee crisis in Eastern Europe that now numbers over a million people. The heartbreaking images of families torn apart.
Yet, we’ve seen remarkable heroism in the face of this horror. So much of the world has risen in solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine.
It’s a reminder to me that democracy, peace and community are fragile institutions. I know our faculty and staff have extended steadfast support to each other and to our students who come from the region as well as some 100 countries around the globe.
Our campus is a beautiful tapestry of diversity: of different experiences and backgrounds; different belief systems; and various ways of processing what happens here and in other places, such as Ukraine. All of it makes us whatand who we are.
We must continue to be that safe harbor. We must continue to be a community that cares. At UK, we care for everyone. Thank you for the role you play in that promise.
Some other items of note:
As many of you know, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently modified its guidance with respect to masking.
In short, given the positive trends regarding the virus across the country, the new guidance examines not only incidence rates of COVID-19 but also factors such as hospitalizations and capacity. Given those factors, Fayette County and much of the state remains in a zone in which masks are highly recommended. However, the trends are moving in the right direction here and throughout the Commonwealth as well.
As such, we are consulting with our START team of health professionals and scientists; our elected faculty, staff and student leaders; senior administrators; and deans. We will be in a position next week to outline next steps we hope to take with respect to masking guidance.
Masks have been an important part of a toolkit that, for past two years, has protected our community’s health and safety. As with other healthy behaviors, such as vaccines and hand washing, masks will continue to be an important tool for many in our community who are sick, who have compromised immunity or who simply want the added layer of protection from airborne illnesses that are part of our lives.
As always, we will move when the science, health and data indicate that we should. That’s how we have proceeded throughout the challenges of the past two years, and it’s how we will move forward now and in the weeks and months ahead.
Thank you to those who have made the responsible decision to be vaccinated. This week's vaccine rates are below:
- UK Community: 92.1%
- Campus: 91.2%
- UK HealthCare: 94.2%
- Faculty: 97.7%
- Students: 89.9%
- Staff: 94.1%
Vaccines represent our best defense against serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19. You also can sign up for incentives after receiving your booster shot.
Thank you for being a community committed to keeping each other safe.