EKU offering COVID-19 testing for students, staff

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 2:28 PM EST|Updated: 22 hours ago
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - The spring semester at Eastern Kentucky University starts Tuesday, January 19.

University administrators are making sure students and staff get off to a good start with its first-ever drive-thru and walk-up COVID-19 testing.

“We are ready. We are ready to bring students back,” said Dr. Bryan Makinen, associate VP of public safety.

About 14,000 people will be back on EKU’s campus in some capacity. The question is, will they bring COVID-19 back with them? To be safe, the campus has started up a walk-in testing site.

“Know your status going into the semester, so that we can have peace of mind,” Dr. Makinen said.

Going back to last fall, campus officials say the school reported 475 positive COVID-19 cases. That includes students and staff.

“I’m very proud of our campus community overall we had a favorable experience it allowed us to operate with an in-person presence,” Dr. Bryan Makinen said.

Eyouel Mekonnen is the student body president at EKU. He recognizes the importance of getting a swab, setting an example for his peers.

“I came to get the test for peace of mind,” Mekonnen said. “All of the things that have been working for us during the fall semester now can be aided by the test in the vaccines as well.”

Speaking of vaccines, 100 students and faculty at EKU, working or studying in the health care field, have been inoculated. Around a thousand employees have also said they’d get the shot.

As far as the general student population getting vaccinated, there is no timeline. Until then, Makonnen says the campus community will have to unite.

“The more that we work together thinking about others as well, we can have a positive impact I want another,” Mekonnen said.

COVID-19 tests are free to EKU students. It’s not mandatory for students to get a test, but it is encouraged.

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