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No parties, more virus testing: UofL students, staff prepare for unconventional return to campus

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 11:12 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The University of Louisville has begun on-campus coronavirus testing as students move in and return to campus.

Weathers Jamel is starting his freshman year of college during the pandemic, but he’s not worried.

“The way that our technology has advanced, where it now really makes it easy,” Jamel said.

While he’s having an easy time, there’s still a lot of uncertainty among students and staff, especially since move-in day is around the corner. Amanda James, who works in the UofL Alumni office, she usually works with incoming freshman and advises students. This year, she says students have a sense of social responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“A lot of the students I work with have been receptive,” James said. “I had a virtual meeting with a student this morning and he had come in at 8 a.m. to get his [COVID-19] test done. I was pleased to see that students are taking it seriously.”

UofL will offer 3 different testing sites for students, faculty, and staff. President Dr. Neeli Bendapudi says she hopes people on campus make an effort to get tested if they suspect they have the virus. She’s also urging everyone to wear face masks and social distance.

“Part of college life is learning how to be a responsible citizen in the community,” Bendapudi said. “Absolutely we will be intervening if somebody violates that, but my greatest hope, I have faith in my students that they will hold each other accountable.”

Bendapudi says if administrators catch wind of students having parties and large gatherings that result in the spread of the coronavirus, the university will start contact tracing to find out where it came from.

As an incoming freshman, Jamel says the pandemic is curbing his temptation to be a typical college student.

“I think this is a really good opportunity,” Jamel said. “Especially as a freshman for me to start going in strong on studying because I don’t have an opportunity to party because of the whole pandemic.”

COVID-19 testing for students and staff at UofL is available until Aug. 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Copyright 2020 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

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