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UK continues to get ready for students to return to campus

Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 11:37 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky continues to prepare for the start of the fall semester.

They started testing students this week, and, Wednesday, we heard from UK’s president, Dr. Eli Capilouto, about how that process is going.

Capilouto told us that during the first two days of COVID testing, they tested almost 4,000 students. He said he believes they can reopen the campus safely, but they are keeping a close eye on those infection numbers.

The plan to test 30,000 UK students started in earnest on Monday, with five testing sites across the campus.

The organizers say they want to get a baseline of how many students are infected with COVID-19 before the semester gets underway.

They have locations on campus for people who test positive to quarantine.

Wednesday morning, Capilouto told us he was encouraged by how many students were taking an active role in keeping themselves and others safe.

They are also working on setting up ongoing testing once the semester starts.

Students do have more options this year when it comes to learning online, and Capilouto said most classrooms have cameras so students can watch a lesson from their dorm room if they have symptoms.

He also said he was aware that safety at UK is impacted by more than just the campus.

“If in any way we see that our community, and I’m talking about our campus community, the City of Lexington, in any way is jeopardized, we will certainly act,” Capilouto said. “One of the things I check every morning is how many of our hospital beds have COVID patients, how many are in our intensive care unit. I’m happy to say we have a great deal of capacity. But we watch it. We know we have to plan ahead.”

Capilouto also said people can’t be careless in their individual or group behaviors. He said the university would deal with it if people don’t comply.

The university has 15 contact tracers who work to notify people who have been in contact with those who test positive.

Watch Victor’s full interview with Dr. Capilouto:

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