LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 31, 2022) — As of Jan. 12, 91% of University of Kentucky faculty, staff and students are vaccinated for COVID-19. While this number is outstanding, the Omicron variant represents a new challenge because of its transmissibility. Even though for those who are vaccinated – and, in particular, boosted – it is less likely to cause severe illness or hospitalization.
It’s important that we remain vigilant as a community and do everything possible to remain safe and well.
If you are fully vaccinated, here are a few extra steps to ensure your safety this winter.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the continuation of mask-wearing in all indoor spaces or areas of high transmission. The university has provided two KN95 masks for each student coming to main campus for added protection against the Omicron variant. For more information about masking, click here.
- If you are feeling unwell or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. Testing is the best way to know if you are currently infected with the virus. Students can receive a free COVID-19 test at any on-campus location.
- Remain six feet away from those who do not live in your home, specifically if you are at a high risk for getting sick. Those infected with COVID-19 who do not experience symptoms can still spread the virus.
- A great way to ensure your safety is by receiving your flu shot. The university is offering free flu shots at various on-campus locations. If you have already received your flu shot elsewhere, you can self-report.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Germs spread by touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. A great way to pass the 20 seconds is by singing the UK Fight Song!
- If you are not already vaccinated, get vaccinated. The vaccine is a strong defense against serious illness and hospitalization. The university is also distributing booster shots to students and faculty and is offering an incentive program with the chance to win scholarships. Get boosted!
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.