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START Team

An interdisciplinary group of UK HealthCare physicians and clinical and research leaders at the University of Kentucky — the START team — has been meeting for several months to examine the health and safety issues related to reinvented and safe operations for our campus this fall. 

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Screening

The overlying principle is reduction and/or containment of new infections, especially in areas where group spread may lead to new infections or superspreading. Although many infected individuals are asymptomatic, symptoms occur in a majority of those infected, and immediate containment is critical. CDC recommendations and emerging data underscore the importance of daily symptom checks.  

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Testing

Viral testing for COVID-19 is one of the best and most efficient ways to reduce the number of new infections and the percentage of spread, especially to high-risk individuals. Moreover, transmission of COVID-19 by asymptomatic carriers is a significant issue and studies have shown that a high percentage of younger people are asymptomatic. Yet, they are still capable of spreading the virus to others over a long period of time. 

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Isolation, PPE and Social Distancing

A guiding principle for reducing viral infection includes efforts to reduce the distance the virus can travel through the air (e.g., masks) as well as actual social distancing or isolation of infected individuals. In other words, we need to reduce as much as possible the accessibility of the virus to other individuals. 

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Contact Tracing and Quarantine

Contact tracing is a means to identify newly infected individuals early by finding those at high risk because of a significant contact with a proven infected person. 

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