UK says students cooperating with COVID guidelines overall, but there have been some issues

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:44 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky says it’s doing what it can to slow the spread of the coronavirus on campus.

When the University of Kentucky first started back with in-classes, President Eli Capelluto said they would need cooperation from students.

They got a lot of cooperation from the 25,000 students who have been tested for COVID, but there have been a few issues. The first week of classes Lexington Police said they cited several students for having off-campus parties.

According to the university code of conduct, even students who don’t live on campus are expected to follow safety guidelines. A university spokesperson specifically said having a party during a pandemic would violate those.

“Lex PD, in particular, has been sharing what we call weekly reports," said Acting Dean of Students Trisha Clement-Montgomery. "As we go through the week, if there are citations that they had to give to UK students, they share that with us via email in a spreadsheet. It tells us the type of citation the student’s name, as well as the student ID number”

She says many of these reports start and end with a conversation.

“We sort of enter into their space via zoom and walkthrough with some of our partners with health corp, dean of students and conduct," Clement-Montgomery said. "We just talk about what those expectations are in terms of what their roles and responsibilities are, in relation to keeping our community safe”

If problems continue, the punishment can be anything from a warning to a suspension, which has already happened this semester.

So far, the university tells us they’ve had around 80 different student conduct reports related to COVID-19 issues.

In the past few days, about half of the new cases reported by the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department have been UK students.

The University says they’ve had almost 1,300 cases since they started testing.

Their goal is to continue a mix of in-person and online classes until Thanksgiving break.

Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx, who is one of the top White House doctors in charge of the COVID-19 Task Force, visited the University of Kentucky. She said as long as the university continued on the same path they’ve been on a wooden need to close before the holiday break.

A director of UK’s Health Corps says the university relies heavily on student leaders to model good behavior and encourage best practices with their peers.

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