UK begins COVID-19 testing on students and staff

Testing is underway at the University of Kentucky, but it's not the kind that usually has students on edge. Over the next three weeks and at different locations on campus, more than 30,000 students and staff will be tested for COVID-19.

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LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ)- Testing is underway at the University of Kentucky, but it’s not the kind that usually has students on edge. Over the next three weeks and at different locations on campus, more than 30,000 students and staff will be tested for COVID-19.

Over at Kroger Field, nearly 200 tests are administered an hour.

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It’s not a very pleasant test, but UK is making sure that every person on campus is tested before classes begin. The goal of the initial screenings is to establish a baseline of where they are in positive cases and to provide protections for students.

“We expect some positives, so we have a plan in place for that. If they’re an on-campus resident, we will put them into a quarantined residence facility, make sure they’re fed properly and taken care of until their period is over,” said Joe Monroe, police chief for UK Police Department.

UK plans to do more follow-up testing throughout the fall, but some students worry about those living in dorms, while one resident assistant says she’s not concerned at all.

“I didn’t really have any second thoughts about it. I’m sure that some people didn’t want to come back to school with it being online and stuff like that, but I don’t know. I didn’t really think about it,” said Daisy Mee.

“I would be, just because you’re living in such close quarters,” said Megan Shinizu.

Shinizu says it’s important that UK does these tests, but has additional concerns about off-campus parties and students not following the rules.

“I’m a little worried about people not wearing their masks and people abiding to the rules because some people think they’re above that I guess, but we’re all just trying to stay safe out here,” said Shinizu.

With so many classes being online only this semester, there will be less in-person encounters. Students agree it’s for the best to keep everyone safe, but they don’t feel they are getting the full college experience.

“I mean it definitely makes it a lot worse because it was super fun when I came here beginning of my freshman year and it just ended all of a sudden,” said Will Gapen.

“If it’s like the spring semester, it’ll be alright,” said Nathan Schnurr. “Hopefully sports are back.”

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Austin Miller joins ABC 36 Sports Team as a Sports Reporter and Weekend Anchor. Austin is from the Louisville area and graduated from St. Xavier High School in 2008. Austin graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a second concentration in German. While at IU, Austin was a blogger at Kentsterling.com and co-host, producer and engineer for WIUX, the school’s student radio station. Before coming to ABC 36, Austin was a news videographer at WLFI in West Lafayette from 2012-2015. While working with WLFI, Austin had the chance to cover the Purdue Boilermakers. He then accepted a Sports/New Reporter position at Local 4 KSNB-TV in Hastings Nebraska and was eventually promoted to sports full-time as the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter. While at KSNB-TV, Austin covered the University of Nebraska, the University of Nebraska-Kearney and Hastings College. After spending nearly six years away from home, Austin is excited to return to the Bluegrass State to cover the teams he grew up watching. In his spare time, Austin enjoys playing basketball, working out and cooking. If you have any story ideas or would like to say “Hello,” you can reach Austin by email at amiller@wtvq.com or direct message him on Twitter @AustinMillerTV.