UK tests more than 1,800 on first day

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Drive up Covid testing at locations across campus.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (UK Public Affairs) COVID-19 testing for all University of Kentucky students physically returning to campus this fall began Monday across five campus locations operated by Wild Health, the private company UK has contracted with to perform the testing. More than 1,800 students were tested Monday.

Students say they appreciate the testing and what it means for long-term health. But they aren’t immune to many of the same concerns their parents and others have about whether the university and the community can keep the coronavirus at bay.

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Student testing is available at no cost for all students returning to campus — undergraduate, graduate and professional students. The testing will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day through Aug. 22, and students are required to make an appointment ahead of time.

“Seeing all of the students arrive today 6-feet apart and actively social distancing gave me confidence,” said Student Body President Courtney Wheeler. “To see everyone have a mask on and be distancing made me feel more confident that students are ready to come back and that we can do this.”

The university is committed to making the testing process as painless and efficient as possible.

“Our goal is to have the whole testing process, from sign-in to completion, take less than 15 minutes,” UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said. “We don’t want to inconvenience students but want to ensure that we are prioritizing student safety.”

If a student tests positive, the university has set aside beds for quarantining those students who live in a residence hall. Students who test positive will be contacted by a member of the UK Health Corps in order to receive necessary resources.

“The university is doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our students, and we’ve heard great feedback from students so far,” Monroe said. “We’re testing on average 200 students an hour across the five campus locations, with approximately 2,000 tests per day.”

Students living off campus can also pick up a wellness kit at their testing appointment. Students living on campus will receive wellness kits inside their residence halls. Wellness kits include hand sanitizer, masks, sanitizing wipes, mask holders, thermometers and additional resource information.

“I was pleasantly surprised that the mask was comfortable and that it fit me,” Wheeler said. “I’ve spoken with a few students and they were really excited to find a mask holder so that their mask can be easily put away.”

More information on testing and UK’s restart plans is available here: www.uky.edu/coronavirus/.