UK students move in with safety measures in place

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — Almost a thousand students moved into UK’s residence halls Saturday.

It was the first move-in day for incoming students and it was one like never before with several COVID-19 safety measures in place.

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The move-in period was extended to nine days instead of the usual couple of days.

Move-ins are taking place by appointment only.

“I’m really excited, everything went really smoothly today,” says incoming freshman Madeline Hite.

Students were buzzing with excitement moving in, though some didn’t picture it looking like this.

“Yeah, I was worried it would be a big mess today. There’s hardly anyone here, it hasn’t been crowded at all,” says Hite.

“I just think this is a lot easier like everybody here is very nice, it seems very efficient, and very organized,” says incoming freshman Lauren Jackson.

UK is expecting anywhere from 300 to 1,000 students moving in each day, spreading out the more than 6,000 students expected.

It’s just one of the many safety measures being taken.

“We’re doing deep cleaning throughout the campus, we’re limiting how many can live in a residence hall so everyone will have a private bedroom, no more than two to a bathroom,” says UK spokesperson Jay Blanton.

Students moving in were only able to bring two people to help.

Blanton says they were excited to see everyone wearing masks, which are mandated on campus, and social distancing.

Students we talked to didn’t seem to mind taking the extra precautions.

“Well my thought is this is my first year, I don’t really have anything to compare it to so this is normal for me,” says Hite.

And parents were pleased with the process, saying they felt better dropping their kids off knowing safety was being taken seriously, especially with mandatory testing.

“Obviously this is our first one out the nest so we were already having butterflies and with a pandemic we weren’t sure everything was gonna open up but when they decided to we were gonna go for it and we’re very, very happy with everything they’re gonna do,” says parent Jennifer Jackson.

Students are hopeful the pandemic won’t affect their college experience too much, but say they’re going to make the most of it anyway.

Blanton says the university has reserved some residence hall space for students who test positive to quarantine at, where they’ll get meals delivered to them and staff will make sure they have what they need for classes.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at CBollinger@wtvq.com.