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Return to Normal for the 2021-2022 Academic Year

Our Plan for Returning to Normal in Fall 2021

We see growing signs of optimism and hope about our return to some sense of normalcy. However, with the virus still present, we must continue to do everything necessary to protect the health and safety of our campus. Beginning June 14, the following guidelines are effective. These policies reflect current recommendations of the CDC, direction from state government, guidance from health department officials and the counsel of our own START team of health scientists and clinicians.


Masks are required inside of all University of Kentucky indoor spaces, including both our academic and medical campuses, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.

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Vaccines are are strongly encouraged but not mandated. We will continue to monitor this issue and change plans, if necessary, to ensure the health and safety of our campus.

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Should you become ill or concerned about a COVID-19 exposure, indicating this on the screener (even if you have been vaccinated) will initiate response from UK Health Corps to help you evaluate your situation and connect with resources to responsibly manage your own health and protect the health of our community.  

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COVID-19 testing is mandatory for everyone (faculty, staff and students) on our campus who is not vaccinated. Testing is required on a weekly basis. If and when someone is fully vaccinated, they will no longer be required to test. 

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Contact Tracing

UK Health Corps continues to conduct contact tracing for all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed to the virus. 

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Reinventing Normal During the 2020-2021 Academic Year

Our Plan for Reopening in Fall 2020 

The distinctive residential educational experience we provide at UK has attracted thousands of students from across Kentucky, the country and the globe. That experience is critical for the future. This differentiated education was more necessary than ever to help us and our students meet the ongoing and daunting new challenges our world must now confront.

While working to return to reinvented operations, the university prepared a backup plan – for fully online or remote learning – that would be utilized in the event that COVID-19 spiked in a way that forced changes in federal and state guidance to keep our community safe. 

View UK's Playbook for Fall 2020 

View Our Status Reports and Process

View the Emergency Operations Center Return to Safe and Normal Operations Contingency Plan

View the START (Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart and Transition) Charge

Guiding Principles

As always, we start with guiding principles:

  • We will plan for a reinvented sense of normal operations on the first day of classes.
  • We will, in everything that we do, work to ensure the health, safety and well-being of everyone in our community.
  • We will incorporate other mission-critical areas into our overall plan. Health care, research and facilities management are working through detailed re-start plans. Athletics also is working on an operations plan in coordination with the Southeastern Conference.
  • We will think through issues that may alter our plans, create planning scenarios and communicate clearly at each step.

Our Teams

We’ve asked four groups to work independently from each other to encourage creative thinking and distinct ideas. The teams already have begun meeting and brainstorming and made initial reports mid-May. They are comprised of students, faculty and staff from across campus and are led by:

  • Associate Dean Anna Bosch (College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Assistant Provost Katie Cardarelli (Office of Faculty Advancement)
  • Associate Provost Sue Roberts (UK International Center)
  • Dean Robert DiPaola (College of Medicine) is leading the START Workgroup – Screening, Testing and Tracing to Accelerate Restart and Transition

Photo of organizational structure