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White House’s Dr. Deborah Birx says UK’s COVID plan is a good one

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 1:21 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Dr. Deborah Birx, from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, met with state and local officials, healthcare professionals and university leaders at the University of Kentucky Monday to review the university’s plan to fight COVID.

LIVE: Dr. Deborah Birx in Lexington for roundtable

LIVE: White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx is in Lexington for a roundtable with UK leadership, state and local officials, and healthcare professionals. More>>https://bit.ly/32tDQO8

Posted by WKYT on Monday, September 14, 2020

Dr. Birx says UK had a good plan for returning students to campus. The university required all students to get tested and requires a daily self-screening.

She also praised UK for creating a COVID-19 response team as well as the university’s efforts to continue to track those COVID-19 cases by testing the wastewater. Dr. Birx says she feels the plan will help the university keep students on campus until the semester ends on November 25.

Over the weekend, Lexington saw 200 new coronavirus cases. About half of those cases were UK students.

Governor Andy Beshear and the local health department have raised concerns about the number of students testing positive campus, but Dr. Birx feels the university has the situation under control.

“To every parent who has a student at the University of Kentucky, I’m not worried about your students because they’re wearing masks, socially distancing and doing everything that’s right,” Dr. Birx said.

We asked Dr. Birx at what point should UK stop in-person classes if the number of COVID cases continues to rise on campus. She did not give a specific number but said as long as the university has the ability to identify and isolate those students who have tested positive, as well as quarantine those students who have they may have come in contact with, she thinks the university will be OK.

Dr. Birx also talked about seeing students wearing masks on campus and noted that she thinks a lot of the COVID-19 cases are due to off-campus activity.

Overall, she says Kentucky is in a better place than when she visited a few weeks ago and thinks the state is moving in the right direction.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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