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UK still on track for in-person classes as other colleges are hit by COVID outbreaks

Published: Aug. 21, 2020 at 11:53 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As colleges across the country are moving back online, classes are still happening in-person at the University of Kentucky.

As the first week of in-person classes at the University of Kentucky comes to an end, they’re still on track to have week two.

“Mask wearing, to social distancing, and regularly washing their hands. Getting their daily 4.0,” said Lance Poston, UK Health Corps. “So, I think this first week has been a great success.

The same can’t be said for every college that started this fall.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had to move classes back online after their positivity rate rose to more than 13%. They had at least 177 students test positive and put almost 350 in quarantine.

So far, Uk has had more students test positive, 231 at last check, but while UNC had tested only 954 students, Uk has tested more than 21,000. Their positivity rate is currently at 1.1 percent.

“I think it’s difficult to compare our experience to other universities,” Poston said. “I think one of the unique pieces that we have, we are bringing to the table at UK is our Health Corps infrastructure.

UK has set aside a dorm for students who have to be isolated. Right now, they aren’t releasing the numbers of students who have had to use it.

The Health Corps, which was formed this semester, works with those students while they recover. They also do contact tracing for anyone they may have been around.

“It’s a process that allows us I think rather quickly to be able to identify folks who need to quarantine or isolate and receive the extra support,” Poston said.

The school has said they have a backup plan in case they have to move classes online. But with so many of their classes using a hybrid model, with some days online, and some in person, they hope limiting in-person contact will keep them from having to use that option.

NC State, Notre Dame, and Michigan State have all moved classes back online after COVID outbreaks.

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