Professional News

Keep Your Loved Ones Safe This Season

photo of Memorial Hall spire with bright red fall leaves in the foreground
Pete Comparoni | UK Photo.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 23, 2020)  University of Kentucky staff and faculty received the email message below from President Eli Capilouto Friday, Nov. 20, expressing gratitude for the way they have risen to the challenge of the pandemic.  


Dear Colleagues,  

With less than a week until Thanksgiving, I’d like to express my deep gratitude for all you have done — and sacrificed — this semester. It has been a time of anxiety, uncertainty, Zoom fatigue and constantly changing circumstances. 

Through it all, you have reminded me that our most precious resource, always, has been our people and the determination and compassion they demonstrate even in the most challenging of times. Thank you. 

I hope you can take a much-needed and much-deserved break over the Thanksgiving Holiday, as I know that, for so many members of our community, the challenges of trying to balance work-life, family and personal obligations haven’t diminished. We know that the foe we face in this virus will remain with us for some time to come. We will, ultimately, prevail, but that will take time. And I know that all of that is tiring — and some days daunting — for so many in our community.   

I urge you to make decisions informed by rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, both across our state and across our country. Because your health and safety remain our top priorities, we hope you will consider the following as you make your plans for family gatherings next week. Some thoughts on steps we all can take are below:  

  1. Think carefully about safety precautions while planning for Thanksgiving. The CDC recently released guidance about celebrating Thanksgiving, noting that “Travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year.” Read more here.
  2. Get a COVID-19 test. Make sure you leave enough time to get your results, so you can make plans accordingly. Schedule your free test here. Note that testing sites will operate during holiday hours from Nov. 25-29. Afterward, community sites will reopen and remain open during the academic break. 
  3. Get your flu shot, if you haven’t already. Our experts tell us that it is more important this year than ever before. Learn more here.
  4. Make plans with your loved ones in mind. If you are planning to see high-risk family members, note that experts recommend quarantining for 14 days beforehand. If you plan to drive with anyone else, remember that the inside of a car can be a very high-risk environment. 
  5. Continue completing your daily screener and making healthy decisions. Keep practicing the healthy behaviors that have kept the UK community safe throughout the semester. Please continue to complete the daily screener, so UK Health Corps can continue to support your health and well-being. 

I am very grateful for this community that cares so deeply. We will show that commitment by continuing to protect and respect each other.

Eli Capilouto