12 of 1,600 test positive for COVID on first day at UK

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Twelve University of Kentucky students and staff out of the first 1,600 Monday tested positive for the coronavirus, the university said Thursday.

It was the first of what will be daily test results by the university as it works to control the spread of the virus and establishes a baseline of student and staff infections.

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The results released Thursday covered only Monday but those interested can check the same site each afternoon for updated numbers, according to the university.

On Monday, 1,600 people were tested with a .7 percent — 12 cases — positivity rate.

And already reports are surfacing of at least one student testing positive and going to a party.

“We just can’t be doing that,” Gov. Andy Beshear said during his daily briefing Thursday. “I enjoyed college, too, and wanted to have fun, but we just can’t be doing things like this…we will shut everything down.”

Between Aug. 3 and Aug. 22, testing for all students — undergraduate, graduate and professional — will be available at no cost to students at five sites on campus and offered through a third-party expert — Lexington-based testing and genomics company, Wild Health — that has been retained by the university.

The idea is to create a baseline for university officials as plans are implemented for ongoing daily screening, contact tracing and other health measures. Using a third party for testing also will enable UK HealthCare to maintain its capacity for testing health workers, first responders and the community.