Home » UK begins randomly testing students for COVID-19

UK begins randomly testing students for COVID-19

The University of Kentucky, like other colleges and universities across the state, has a detailed plan to implement physical distancing and other measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (Mark Cornelison/UK)

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The University of Kentucky will begin a regimen of random testing among its student population, university officials announced Friday, as part of continued efforts to use science and data to drive decisions around keeping the community safe.

The announcement, recommended by UK’s START team, follows a productive dialogue in which senior leaders engaged earlier in the week with Dr. Deborah Birx, the national coronavirus response coordinator.

Here are details of next steps:

  • Starting Friday, UK Health Corps will begin notifying students that they have been selected for required random COVID-19 testing. The testing regimen will occur only among the student population that is physically coming to campus.
  • These tests will be administered at no cost to students, through UK’s existing student testing site at The 90 and at the new student testing lane at the community site at College Way.
  • This random testing will take place throughout the remainder of the semester.

Guided by recommendations from federal experts, as well as the START team of world-class clinicians and specialists, officials said they believe this initiative will continue to make the campus a safer place to fulfill UK’s missions of education, research, service and care. Data gathered through this process will further inform decisions.

This initiative bolsters and complements existing, ongoing efforts designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which include:

  • Recent steps to test wastewater from residence halls. Data collected through this method can reveal the virus’ presence in a given facility. This new initiative is informing efforts, which will begin this weekend, to require retesting among students who live in residence halls, as directed by the data emerging from this innovative detection method.
  • Expansion of optional retesting, at no cost, for any student who wishes to receive a test. Students can sign up at any time for an appointment at the testing site near The 90 here.
  • Implementation of COVID-19 testing for employees, at no cost, through our community testing sites at College Way and Eastern State Hospital. Employees can sign up for an appointment here.

“Everything we do is conceived — and implemented — with one goal in mind: keeping you safe,” UK President Eli Capilouto said.

Members of the campus community can keep updated on health and safety efforts at www.uky.edu/coronavirus.