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SPRING 2022 GUIDE

This fall, the university community has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and extended UK family. In December, the campus reached a 90 percent vaccination rate — making our campus arguably one of the safest in the country.

Because of the high levels of success we’ve seen with current policies in place — and given the ongoing volatility of the virus — the university will continue these policies as is during the spring 2022 semester.

To that end, as the university plans for the spring 2022 semester, we will continue to rely on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as our START (Screening, Testing and Tracing, to Accelerate Restart and Transition) team, led by Acting Provost DiPaola and consisting of public health and infectious disease experts, to make informed decisions about COVID-19 policies and procedures on campus. To help our campus, the team is particularly prepared to continually analyze new evidence as it emerges, reflective of omicron, future variants and new vaccines and strategies. While doing so, we will continue to follow our guiding principles that have served as our key principles since the beginning of the pandemic.

Against that backdrop, this spring planning guide provides an overview of policies, recommendations, guidelines and expectations for members of the UK community. 

Importantly, vaccines remain our best and most important defense against the virus. We will continue to push for more members of our campus community to be fully vaccinated and, increasingly, for more and more of our faculty, staff and students to receive booster shots, which are readily available.

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Guiding Principles

As in the past, the following guiding principles will serve as the foundation of our COVID-19 policies.

  • We will preserve the mission we’ve held for more than 150 years.
  • The health, safety and well-being of our campus community will always be top priorities.
  • We will continue, as a priority, a return to safe and normal operations.
  • We must position UK to thrive as we emerge from this crisis.
  • At each step, we pledge to communicate with the campus clearly and transparently.

 

General Health and Safety FAQs

What are some key things I can do to protect my own health and safety? 

  • The most important thing anyone can do to protect their own safety, and the safety of those around them, is to be vaccinated for COVID-19. Vaccines remain our best and most important defense against the virus. Studies continue to show that the vaccines protect against serious illness even from the Delta variant. You can schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment here. Additionally, masks provide another layer of protection, particularly when worn indoors. UK is requiring all individuals—faculty, staff, students and visitors—to wear masks when they are in indoor common areas or gathering spaces.  

 

What resources is UK providing to support my health and safety? 

  • UK built a modern public health infrastructure in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the center of these efforts is Health Corps, the hub for UK’s contact tracing, testing, screening and other COVID-19 support services. These staff, which include contact tracers, wellness connectors, academic coordinators and others, provide resources, guidance and other support to members of the UK community. You can contact Health Corps at healthcorps@uky.edu or 859-218-SAFE.  

 

What is the difference between quarantine, self-quarantine and isolation, and what are the circumstances under which I would be required or recommended to take these precautions? 

  • Isolation and quarantine refer to a defined period of movement restriction associated with a public health order from a local public health authority or UK Health Corps. Isolation orders are the result of an individual’s positive COVID-19 test result; quarantine orders are the result of an individual’s exposure to someone else who has tested positive for COVID-19. Self-quarantine is a step someone might take at their own discretion and in the interest of their own health and the health of others as a result of a situation related to COVID-19. 

  • Per the CDC, people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

  • The CDC updated the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

 

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?  

  • Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fatigue, headache, congestion, runny nose, sore throat, a fever above 100.4, feeling feverish, chills, body aches, cough, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting and abdominal pain. 

 

What should I do if I am feeling sick or am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (even if I have received the vaccine)?  

  • The daily health screening is an important tool for monitoring one’s health, and unvaccinated individuals are expected to complete it. Members of the UK community are encouraged to download the screening app and indicate their symptoms on the screening when and if they are feeling ill. This allows someone from UK Health Corps to reach out and provide support. Alternatively, individuals can contact Health Corps or reach out to their health care provider directly. If you are feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms, it is recommended that you get a test and self-quarantine while you wait on the results. Importantly, even if you have received the vaccine, you should still use the screening as a tool to receive support from Health Corps, should you develop symptoms.  

 

How do I know my personal health information is protected?

  • Anything you submit in the self-report tool is entered into a secure database built for the purpose of maintaining compliance with UK's COVID policies. The data are protected, are available to only those who have access to this database for the purpose of monitoring compliance and are subject to the consent statement you agree to at the time of submission.

 

What happens if I test positive for COVID-19?

  • If you test positive, please begin self-isolating immediately. Specifically, go into your room and do your best not to be in common spaces or around other people. Isolating is important because it can help prevent spreading the virus. 
  • If you test positive at a non-UK testing site, you will need to upload your test results to the self-report tool as soon as you receive them. If you have registered as a student at any UK testing location, your test results will be automatically reported to UK Health Corps (no need to self-report). 
  • A Health Corps contact tracer will contact you within 24 hours of when you upload your positive test result to check in with you, provide resources and begin the process of contact tracing. 
  • Once Health Corps has connected with you, you will be offered a room in the isolation facility if you live on campus. You are also welcome to isolate at an off-campus location of your choice. 
  • For students who live on campus and decide to stay in the isolation facility, you will be provided with bedding, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), trash pick-up, and laundry service. The rooms include a refrigerator, microwave, and television. You may bring with you whatever items with you that you can carry by yourself. You may also have items delivered to the front desk (groceries, fast food, amazon packages, etc.). 
  • Health Corps is here to support you while you are in isolation. If you need anything or have any questions, you can call us at 859-218-SAFE (7233). 
  • At the end of your isolation period, as long as you do not have a fever or any new symptoms, you may resume regular activities and return to your dorm if you live on campus. 

What happens if I have to quarantine?

  • If you are within six feet of someone who has tested positive for more than 15 minutes total in a day, you are considered an exposure. Vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine but will need to monitor their health and are recommended to test five days from an exposure. Unvaccinated individuals will have to quarantine. 
  • If you are exposed to an individual that has tested positive and/or you start developing COVID-19 symptoms, contact Health Corps for the latest guidance. 
  • In the event that you are exposed to a UK community member that has tested positive, a Health Corps contact tracer will reach out to let you know. If you are unvaccinated, the contact tracer will instruct you to quarantine. If you live on campus, you may have the option to either quarantine in your dorm room or stay in the quarantine dorm (which is a building separate from the isolation dorm). 
  • For students who live on campus and decide to stay in the quarantine dorm, you will be provided with bedding, meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), trash pick-up, and laundry service. The rooms include a refrigerator and a microwave. You may bring with you whatever items you can carry by yourself. You may also have items delivered to the front desk (groceries, fast food, amazon packages, etc.). 
  • Health Corps is here to support you while you are in quarantine. If you need anything or have any questions, you can call us at 859-218-SAFE (7233). 
  • At the end of your quarantine period, a Health Corps contact tracer will contact you to asses you for release. Once Health Corps releases you from quarantine, you may resume regular activities and return to your dorm if you live on campus. 

What is UK Health Corps and is it still operational?  

  • At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we created a modern public health infrastructure on our campus. At the core of that is UK Health Corps — a group of staff who has served as the backbone of our efforts to keep our community safe. Health Corps supports our entire community — faculty, staff and students. Health Corps remains fully operational this fall.

  • As in the past, all members of our community should contact Health Corps at 859-218-SAFE (7233) or healthcorps@uky.edu for assistance if they test positive for, or are exposed to, COVID-19. As contact tracers, wellness connectors, academic coordinators and more, UK Health Corps staff have undergone extensive training, allowing us to make it as easy as possible to be safe on our campus. Students, faculty and staff can — and should — continue to utilize the important services they provide. You can learn more about Health Corps here. We also meet regularly with the local health department to coordinate our COVID-19 response. 

 

Why is UK striving for 90% vaccination among students, faculty and staff? 

  • Vaccines represent our best defense against COVID-19. There is not a definitive number for establishing what is known as community or herd immunity. However, most scientific literature has estimated between 75% and 90%. Given the number of people we estimate may choose not to receive the vaccine for health and/or religious reasons, we believe 90% is an important goal to reach, although we will work throughout the year to get as close as possible to a full vaccination rate on campus. UK health experts also are recommending vaccination even for individuals who have previously contracted COVID-19, as studies suggest vaccines are a stronger, more effective means to immunity.  

 

What information is available to me regarding the rates of COVID-19 infection on campus? 

  • UK has published a dashboard of data related to COVID-19 on campus. This includes numbers related to tests, such as the number of current COVID-19 cases, number of recovered COVID-19 cases, number of tests conducted, number of positive results, etc. Additionally, the percentage of community members who have been vaccinated is periodically updated. You can view the dashboard here. 

  • Our employees come from all over the state and are testing in different places. When they’re tested, their results are reported to their local health department. As such, UK does not have testing data for all employees.  

 

What are the primary factors UK is monitoring to maintain the overall health and well-being of the campus? 

  • The underlying factors the institution uses to maintain the overall health and well-being of the campus and respond to COVID-19 rates, as well as our operational status, include: 

    • Vaccination rates among the UK community. 

    • Supply of personal protective equipment. 

    • Prevalence of the virus. 

    • The capacity for daily screening and ongoing contact tracing. 

    • The capacity for isolation and quarantining. 

    • The ability to provide residential experience on our campus. 

    • Guidance from local, state and federal health and public policy officials. 

    • The number of critical care beds in UK HealthCare to serve both campus and community. 

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Vaccines

Members of the university community are strongly encouraged to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. New hires on the main campus are required to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals who come to campus are required to participate in weekly testing throughout the semester (see the testing category below).

The COVID-19 vaccination is required for UK HealthCare health care providers, staff, trainees, learners and those who work in UK HealthCare facilities.

As of the writing of this playbook, the omicron variant of the virus has begun to spread to several states across the country. As noted, our START team is working diligently to keep track of this to help keep our campus safe.

However, another variant and continued spread of the Delta strain reinforce our intent to maintain health and safety policies that have been widely effective in our campus community, while remaining vigilant in monitoring the progression of COVID-19.

That flexibility – and continued vigilance – gives us the capacity to pivot if necessary in terms of strengthening or relaxing policies and procedures should the need arise at any point.

Additionally, boosters provide a higher level of defense against this virus, including the Omicron variant. We have made signing up for a booster convenient, easy and free. 

  • All fully vaccinated adults, 18 and older, living or working in Kentucky who are at least six months past their second dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or at least two months past their single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to receive a booster. Learn more here.
  • Go to ukvaccine.org to sign up for an appointment. This sign-up process is the same one we used last academic year for our vaccine clinics.

 

Vaccine FAQs 

Why is UK HealthCare requiring vaccines for UK HealthCare employees?  

  • Vaccines are, without question, our best defense against the COVID-19 virus. UK HealthCare joins other hospitals in the state as well as nearly 60 major medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Nurses Association, which have called for mandatory vaccination of health care workers. 

 

What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?  

  • In general, people are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose of a WHO-authorized vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the Novavax  2-dose series or 2 weeks after a WHO authorized single-dose vaccine, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  

 

Is the university going to require vaccinations for anyone else, beyond UK HealthCare employees? 

  • Not at this time; however, President Capilouto announced in his August 6 email to campus that, to protect our campus, we will begin considering these options for staff and faculty as well — including mandatory vaccines. This measure is being considered as part of a thorough and comprehensive examination of options to keep our community healthy and safe.  

 

How do I know if UK has my vaccination record?  

  • If you are student or campus employee and you are still receiving testing reminders or UK daily wellness screening reminders two full weeks after your second dose of a COVID vaccine (or single dose for J&J), your vaccination documentation is not on record with Health Corps. You should upload vaccination documentation here, via our self-report tool.

 

I lost my COVID-19 vaccination card. How do I get a new one?

  • If you have misplaced your official COVID-19 vaccination documentation and were vaccinated by UK, you may visit one of the UK Retail Pharmacies currently offering COVID-19 vaccines to request a new record.  Please visit ukvaccine.org to locate a UK pharmacy that is providing vaccinations. If you were not vaccinated at UK, you will need to contact the company or organization that vaccinated you to request a new copy of your documentation. 

 

What is the purpose of the daily screening?  

  • The daily wellness screening is a powerful tool to connect students, faculty and staff with resources and support should they be affected by COVID-19. Should you become ill or concerned about a COVID-19 exposure, indicating this on the screening will prompt UK Health Corps to reach out to you and help you evaluate your situation. Health Corps is here to connect you with resources to responsibly manage your own health and protect the health of our community. Please visit the “Screening” section for more information on the daily wellness screening.  

 

I recently got vaccinated or uploaded my vaccine documentation, and I am still receiving the daily wellness screening. Why is this? 

  • You will continue receiving the daily wellness screening reminder until you are considered fully vaccinated. This means you  will  stop receiving the reminder fourteen days after  receiving your single dose (Johnson & Johnson) or second dose (Pfizer and  Moderna).  If you have any questions about your vaccine documentation, contact Health Corps at healthcorps@uky.edu or 859-218-SAFE.  

 

How do I request a religious or medical exemption for the UK HealthCare COVID-19 vaccine requirement?  

  • Religious and medical exemption requests for UK HealthCare employees follow the same process as for the influenza vaccine - including some type of identification. The university communicated with individuals requesting exemption during the week of August 16. 

 

I have already had COVID-19. Can I submit proof of this instead of a COVID-19 vaccination to be removed from the screening and testing requirements for unvaccinated individuals?  

  • No. Because the protection that someone gains from previously having COVID-19 will vary from person to person and we don’t know how long natural immunity might last, the only way to be removed from these requirements is to provide proof of a WHO-authorized vaccination or the Novavax. Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should be vaccinated. Recent studies suggest that immunity from vaccination may be more effective than immunity from prior infection, especially when it comes to variants. Please note that if you test positive, you will continue receiving testing reminders but will not be required to test for 90 days from the date of your positive test.

 

What evidence is leading the push to vaccinate 90% of the UK community?  

  • There is not a definitive number for establishing what is known as community or herd immunity. However, most scientific literature has estimated herd immunity requires 75 to 90 percent of the community to be vaccinated. Given the number of people we estimate may receive exemptions for health and/or religious reasons, we believe 90 percent is the minimum vaccination rate that will provide our community with sufficient protection from COVID-19, and we want to surpass it. UK health experts also are recommending vaccination for individuals who have previously contracted COVID-19, as studies suggest vaccines are a stronger, more effective means to acquiring immunity.

 

Can I ask people if they’ve had the vaccine? Can I ask them to provide proof of vaccination?  

  • No. For the reasons explained below, faculty members and supervisors outside of UK HealthCare shall not ask about the vaccination status of any student or employee. Faculty members who are supervising health care college students, residents and fellows in clinical rotations within UK HealthCare may ask whether the student has completed UK HealthCare's requirements to be present in a clinical environment (submit proof of vaccination to UK HealthCare or obtain a medical/religious exemption through UK HealthCare's process).  

  • The justification for this advice is twofold:   
    • Under the federal and state constitutional rights to privacy, a university official, such as a faculty member or a supervisor, generally may not compel an individual to disclose their vaccine status and/or whether they have received a religious or medical exemption to a university official.  The information is not HIPAA-protected, but it does fall within the federal and state constitutional rights of privacy.  Moreover, given the power differential between faculty members and students or between supervisors and subordinates, a "request" likely would be viewed as a demand.
    • Requiring disclosure could lead to discrimination against the unvaccinated, regardless of whether the decision not to receive the vaccine was based on a medical condition or religious reasons.

 

Does the university have a policy in place for falsified vaccine cards or records?

  • The University of Kentucky utilizes a self-reporting tool where community members provide verification of vaccination status.  After a vaccine document is uploaded, Health Corps compares and verifies both the digital image of the vaccine document and the information submitted through the input fields   A Health Corps team member manually reviews each submission and can reject it if there are any concerns about the validity of the document. If discrepancies exist, Health Corps takes additional steps to verify the vaccine documentation. Anyone found falsifying records would be reported to the Office of Student Conduct or UK Human Resources. There are also federal penalties up to a $5,000 fine or five years in prison for misuse of a federal seal, including the CDC and HHS seals that appear on the vaccination cards.  

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Masks

  • All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks or face coverings in indoor spaces on campus where people gather — including, but not limited to, classrooms, the Gatton Student Center, William T. Young Library, shared office spaces (including shared rooms with cubicles), hallways, common spaces like the lobby of a residence hall, studios, concerts, lessons and performance situations.
  • Faculty members can ask students to leave their classroom if they refuse to wear a mask. In addition, faculty members can also report the incident to the Office of Student Conduct. 
  • We recognize that it takes an entire campus committed to uphold masking policies. Accordingly, individuals can and should ask others to wear a mask in all indoor spaces, and can request that unmasked individuals vacate university spaces if they refuse.
  • Masks are not required for any individuals while utilizing recreational equipment or while exercising in recreational spaces such as basketball courts.
  • Masks are not required for any vaccinated individual who is alone in a private office space. 
  • Masks are not required for vaccinated individuals outside. 
  • Unvaccinated individuals should wear masks outside when around other people. 
  • As a reminder, under the federal and state constitutional rights to privacy, a university official, such as a faculty member or a supervisor, generally may not compel an individual to disclose their vaccine status.
  • Everyone (particularly unvaccinated individuals) is encouraged to eat outside when possible. 
  • Per the CDC, face shields are not as effective at protecting you or the people around you from respiratory droplets. They have large gaps below and alongside the face where respiratory droplets may escape and reach others around you and they will not protect you from the respiratory droplets of others.
  • All individuals — regardless of vaccination status — are required to wear face coverings in any indoor space on UK’s campus. A face shield may be used ONLY in addition to wearing a mask. However, in certain settings where it is important to the curriculum or where an individual may be hard of hearing, a face shield may be used without a mask indoors as long as the individual wearing the face shield remains six feet away from other individuals and is behind plexiglass.

 

Masks FAQs 

For the purposes of the masking policy, what constitutes a campus space?  

  • All University of Kentucky and UK HealthCare buildings are spaces where the masking policy will be enforced.  Campus spaces also include leased spaces. 

 

What can I ask of people who come into my office or other private meeting spaces for in-person interaction?  

  • All individuals, irrespective of vaccine status, are required to wear masks when they are in indoor common spaces.  

 

Can faculty members ask students to leave the classroom if they refuse to wear a mask?  

  • Yes. If a student refuses to wear a mask in an indoor space, you also can report the incident to the Office of Student Conduct.  

 

Can I request that someone wear a mask, and what do I do if they are unwilling or unable?  

  • At this time, masks are required in all common spaces of indoor facilities regardless of vaccination status. Below are some tips for navigating conversations related to mask-wearing.  

  • First, assume the best in your colleague, employee or student. They may have forgotten to put it on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus:

    • Don’t forget your mask.

    • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements.

    • Please wear a mask when you come to my office/cubicle.

  • If an employee refuses to wear a mask after they have been asked to do so, refer them to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758. You may also use this form to share concerns about employee failure to follow campus masking protocols. 
  • If a student refuses to wear a mask in an indoor space, you can report this to the Office of Student Conduct

  • Masks will be made available in high-traffic areas. 

  • In terms of general classroom management, you can contact the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) for questions about how to handle sensitive situations that arise in the classroom. In addition, the Office of Student Conduct can provide a presentation about appropriate conflict resolution strategies. 

 

Do employees in cubicles need to wear a mask all day? 

  • Yes. Regardless of vaccination status, employees in cubicles need to wear a mask while indoors including while working in a cubicle. 

 

What are the masking requirements for outdoor events and spaces? 

  • Masks are not required for anyone alone in indoor or outdoor spaces. Unvaccinated individuals should wear masks outside when around other people. 

   

Are individuals who are not students, faculty or staff required wear masks in indoor campus facilities?  

  • Anyone coming to campus must follow mask requirements. This includes all visitors, vendors, third-party contractors, etc.  

 

Are speakers or presenters at large functions required to wear a mask?    

  • Visitors to campus are expected to comply with university mask policies. Speakers and presenters are required to wear a mask unless they are speaking from behind a podium that is appropriately distanced from the audience or they are standing behind a plexiglass divider. If individuals are presenting behind plexiglass, they do not need to wear a mask or face covering. However, if they move away from the plexiglass, they should wear a mask.   

  • Face shields should only be used while lecturing. 

 

What are the repercussions for not wearing a mask in indoor common areas or gathering spaces?  

  • We trust our community to comply with these measures which are in place to protect everyone’s health and safety. This community has, since the beginning of the pandemic, banded together to keep each other safe. At the same time, mechanisms are in place to address noncompliance.  

  • Noncompliant students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.  

  • If an employee refuses to wear a mask after they have been asked to do so, refer them to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758. You may also use this form to share concerns about employee failure to follow campus masking protocols. 

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Screening

The daily wellness screening, a tool utilized by Health Corps to support the UK community, remains available to all students, faculty and staff. The screening is another resource designed to promote the health and safety of the campus.   

Irrespective of vaccination status, all members of our community should contact Health Corps at  859-218-SAFE or  healthcorps@uky.edu  for assistance if they test positive for, or are exposed to, COVID-19.   

Individuals also can download the "UK Wellness Review" app to complete your daily screening and initiate conversations with Health Corps at any time. The app is now available for both Android and iOS devices. 

  • Students and employees who have not been vaccinated are expected to complete the daily wellness screening seven days a week. 
  • Students and employees who have been vaccinated are not expected to complete the university’s daily wellness screening. However, if anyone is symptomatic, we ask that they contact their provider to determine if testing is appropriate.
  • Any individual may also complete the screening if they wish, as a mechanism to monitor their health and receive support from UK Health Corps.  
  • If vaccinated individuals are still receiving reminders to complete the screening, it is possible that their vaccination documentation is not on file with UK Health Corps. Upload that information here, via UK’s self-report tool. Once documentation has been submitted, please allow 72 hours for processing – changes in the receipt of notification emails and texts are not immediate.
  • Students in health care colleges are required to complete a screening only when they are in clinical care settings. Health care college students who work in clinical care settings will be required to comply with the policy of the respective office and/or building.

 

Screening FAQs 

Will students, faculty and staff who are vaccinated need to complete daily screening? 

  • The daily wellness screening is sent to unvaccinated students, faculty and staff every day, seven days a week. Completing the screening is expected of all unvaccinated students, faculty and stuff. Vaccinated individuals do not need to complete the daily wellness screening. However, if vaccinated individuals feel ill or have COVID-19 symptoms, they should report this via the screening app. The daily wellness screening is a mechanism for receiving support if one does feel ill. If there are any changes to this policy, they will be announced through official university channels. 

 

I am a student. What should I do if I am feeling sick? 

  • The daily wellness screening is an important tool for monitoring one’s health. Members of the UK community are encouraged to download the screening app and indicate their symptoms on the screening when and if they are feeling ill. This allows someone from UK Health Corps to reach out and provide support. Alternatively, individuals can contact Health Corps or reach out to their health care provider directly.  

  • If you are feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms, it is recommended that you get a PCR test and self-quarantine while you wait on the results.  

  • Students can work with academic coordinators in UK Health Corps, as well as their faculty members, to make decisions around class attendance and assignments.

 

I am an employee (faculty or staff). What should I do if I am feeling sick?  

  • The daily wellness screening is an important tool for monitoring one’s health. Members of the UK community are encouraged to download the screening app and indicate their symptoms on the screener when and if they are feeling ill. This allows someone from UK Health Corps to reach out and provide support. Alternatively, individuals can contact Health Corps or reach out to their health care provider directly.  

  • If you are feeling ill with COVID-19 symptoms, it is recommended that you get a PCR test and self-quarantine while you wait on the results.  

  • Guidance from the start of the pandemic, remains in effect. If an employee needs to isolate or self-quarantine, they should work with their supervisor to determine if remote work is possible. HR Employee Relations can be reached at 859-257-8758 to help identify remote work or leave options. Any employee who is sick and unable to work, whether related COVID-19 or not, should use sick leave (TDL).  

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Testing 

Unvaccinated Students – Entry Testing

  • Unvaccinated students are required to complete an entry PCR test during the entry testing window: January 3-16. More information on testing can be found here. There are two options for entry testing: 
    1. Students could upload an approved PCR test, administered during the entry testing window, from a non-UK provider via the UK self-report tool. 
    2. Students could complete an approved PCR test at no cost through UK. 

Unvaccinated Students and Employees

  • Throughout the semester, unvaccinated students and employees who physically come to campus are required to complete a PCR test on a weekly basis. More information on testing can be found here.
  • Unvaccinated students who are entirely remote need to contact UK Health Corps to ensure their remote status is on file.
  • Unvaccinated employees who are entirely remote must: 1) Make sure the work address listed in their myUK profile is not a campus address. 2) Contact Human Resources to ensure they have completed the necessary paperwork for remote work.
  • These PCR tests will be provided at no cost on UK’s campus. However, unvaccinated individuals may obtain a PCR test off campus and upload the test results to the self-report tool. Off-campus test results must indicate that they are from a PCR test or else they will not be accepted.
  • Noncompliance policies for students and employees can be found below.
  • If vaccinated students or employees are still contacted about completing a COVID-19 test, it is possible that their vaccination documentation is not on file with UK Health Corps. Upload that information here, via our self-report tool. Once documentation has been submitted, please allow 72 hours for processing – changes in the receipt of notification emails and texts are not immediate.
  • Irrespective of vaccination status, any student who tests positive for COVID-19 at a non-UK site is required by the Code of Student Conduct to report that to UK Health Corps via the self-report tool. Students who do not report a positive COVID-19 test result to UK Health Corps will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Employees can be tested during work hours. No employee will have to take leave time to test.
  • As in previous semesters, UK may continue testing specific student subpopulations when data indicate a higher prevalence of the virus. This may include both vaccinated and unvaccinated students.  

Testing Available at No Cost for all UK Students and Employees (Faculty and Staff): Vaccinated and Unvaccinated 

  • Asymptomatic employees can utilize on-campus student testing locations. PCR tests are available at no cost. More information on testing can be found here.
  • If students develop symptoms, irrespective of vaccination status, they should schedule a test at University Health Service. They should wear a mask to their testing appointment.  
  • If employees are experiencing symptoms, they should avoid public spaces and contact their health care provider. They can also contact Employee Health.    
  • Irrespective of vaccination status, any student who tests positive for COVID-19 at a non-UK site is required by the Code of Student Conduct to report that to UK Health Corps via the self-report tool. Students who do not report a positive COVID-19 test result to UK Health Corps will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

Testing Locations and hours

View testing locations and hours here.

 

Testing FAQs 

If I test at a UK student- or employee-only site, how will I be notified of my results?

  • You should first receive a text message, letting you know that your test results are ready, as long as we have a cell phone number on file for you. Your results will then be sent to your UKY email address (regardless of what you used for your appointment registration) from UK Health Corps. The email will have your name, date of birth, date of test, type of test and test result. This email will let you know whether you are “positive (detected)” or “negative (not detected),” and will include additional instructions for you regarding your results.
  • If you test positive, a contact tracer from UK Health Corps will reach out to you after you receive this email to conduct a contact trace and connect you with any resources you may need. As always, and especially while waiting, please consult current CDC guidelines, review our spring guide and contact UK Health Corps with any questions.

What should I do if I test positive?

  • If UK students, faculty or staff test positive at a non-UK COVID-19 testing site, they should report that to Health Corps via the self report tool. This will start the isolation and contact tracing process. If you tested at UHS or campus testing you do not need to self report.

 

Why are unvaccinated individuals required to test while vaccinated individuals aren't?

  • Per the CDC, the greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people, who are much more likely to get infected, and therefore transmit the virus. Fully vaccinated people get COVID-19 (known as breakthrough infections) less often than unvaccinated people.  

  • Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to spread the virus for a shorter time: For prior variants, lower amounts of viral genetic material were found in samples taken from fully vaccinated people who had breakthrough infections compared to samples from unvaccinated people with COVID-19. For people infected with the Delta variant, similar amounts of viral genetic material have been found among both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people. However, like prior variants, the amount of viral genetic material may go down faster in fully vaccinated people when compared to unvaccinated people. This means fully vaccinated people will likely spread the virus for less time than unvaccinated people. 

 

I am entirely remote and never come to campus. Do I still have to test?

  • Unvaccinated students who are entirely remote need to contact Health Corps to ensure we have their remote status on file. 

  • Unvaccinated employees who are entirely remote must: 1) Make sure the work address listed in their myUK profile is not a campus address. 2) Contact Human Resources to ensure they have completed the necessary paperwork to be deemed a remote worker. 

 

Am I subject to the testing requirement if I work at a University location other than the Lexington campus?

  • As you may know, the Supreme Court of the United States is hearing a legal challenge to the Biden Administration's vaccine mandates. The Court heard oral arguments on January 7th and is expected to issue a decision soon. 
  • If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the Biden Administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is implementing a rule in which employers with 100 or more employees must require COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing for those who have not been vaccinated. 
  • Previously, we have required employees who are coming to the Lexington campus each day or one of our Fayette County locations to either vaccinate or test weekly. The OSHA provision, if ultimately enacted, would require us to extend that to any UK owned or operated location. 
  • We must be prepared to implement the provision, if it stays in place. As a first step, we have asked members of our community in those locations outside of Fayette County to let us know if they have been vaccinated. It’s a simple process. Please upload your vaccine documentation here. Details on any testing required by the OSHA provision for employees located outside the Lexington campus will be developed and communicated prior to any deadlines set by the OSHA provision.

 

I will be out of town for one or more full testing periods. Do I still have to test while I'm away?

  • Students and employees who will be out of town for one or more full testing periods should contact Health Corps at 859-218-SAFE (7233) for further instructions. 

 

I tested positive within the last 90 days. Do I still have to get a weekly test?

  • If you have recently tested positive, you will continue to receive testing reminders but you will not be required to test for 90 days from the date of your positive test. This is because you could continue to test positive from a previous COVID-19 infection within that 90-day window. Once you are outside of that 90-day window, you must begin testing again. 

 

Why are symptomatic students instructed to go to University Health Service rather than the other testing locations? 

  • Other testing locations are designed to serve an asymptomatic population. Individuals administering COVID-19 tests are equipped with personal protective equipment that reflects the risk level of the population completing the test. University Health Service (UHS, the student health clinic) is specifically equipped to serve a symptomatic population. Additionally, by testing at UHS, symptomatic students can receive additional clinical evaluation and guidance related to their symptoms.  

 

Is there a drive-thru testing option? 

  • Click here to view testing locations and hours, including drive-thru options.

 

How much do tests cost?  

  • Tests are provided on UK’s campus at no cost.  

 

I don’t want to be tested anymore. What can I do?  

  • Get vaccinated. Vaccines are our best defense against the virus. Fully vaccinated students are not required to complete ongoing testing. Schedule your appointment here.  

 

Where can I go if I have additional questions about testing policies?  

 

As an employee, can I receive a COVID-19 test outside of UK to fulfill my testing requirements?

  • Yes. You may receive a test outside of UK as long as it's a PCR test and you upload your results at this link

 

What should I do if I need a medical accommodation for the testing requirement? 

  • If  you need a medical accommodation for the testing requirement, please communicate with the UK Disability Resource Center. You can reach them at 859-257-2754 or drc@uky.edu

 

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Noncompliance Policies

As we return for the spring 2022 semester, student and employee compliance will pick up with entry testing January 3-16, and follow the same Monday-Sunday weekly testing schedule with escalating compliance penalties. Individuals will end the fall 2021 testing period at the level they reached in December. They will be responsible for the compliance actions taken at their terminal or final fall 2021 level. Those who are eligible to return in the spring will start at level zero.

Faculty, staff and student compliance measures and sanctions for the spring 2022 semester will be materially similar to what was in place for the fall 2021 semester below.

Regular (full- and part-time) faculty and staff: 

  • After one testing period of noncompliance, a letter will be sent to the employee, and that employee’s supervisor will be copied. 

  • After two testing periods of noncompliance, a letter will be placed in the employee’s permanent personnel record, and their supervisor will be notified. 

  • After three testing periods of noncompliance, employees will become ineligible for the next pay raise until they become fully vaccinated or until they test consecutively over a four-week period.
  • After four testing periods of noncompliance (or beyond), employees will be placed on unpaid administrative leave until fully vaccinated or until they test  consecutively for four weeks. 

  • For STEPS employees (part-time student employees and staff), similar disciplinary letters will be sent for the first two testing periods of non-compliance. After three testing periods of noncompliance, a STEPS employee can be subject to termination. 

  • The university defines fully vaccinated as two shots of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines plus 14 days or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine plus 14 days. 

Students:

  • After the first testing period of noncompliance, a hold is placed on the student’s account, which prohibits access to things such as registering for classes. This hold is lifted once a student comes back into compliance with the testing policy. 

  • After the second testing period, a student is denied future access to athletic events and/or prohibited from social activities. This penalty is lifted once a student comes back into compliance with the testing policy. 

  • After the third testing period of non-compliance, a conduct meeting will be held with the student., This level of noncompliance will involve disciplinary holds, including a potential sanction of probation. 

  • After the fourth testing period of non-compliance, another conduct meeting is held. The potential sanction is an interim suspension. 

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Contact Tracing  

Positive Test - Isolation

  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should report their test results to Health Corps at go.uky.edu/selfreport. If you tested at a campus location you do not need to self report.  

  • A Health Corps team member will conduct a contact trace and issue an isolation order.  

  • Regardless of vaccination status, individuals who test positive should isolate for five days. At the five day point, they may leave isolation and continue to mask for five days if they have been fever free for 24 hours without the aid of fever reducing medication and all other symptoms are improving. 

Exposure - Quarantine

  • If you:
    • Have been boosted OR
    • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last six months OR
    • Completed the primary series of J&J vaccine within the last two months
  • You should...
    • Wear a mask around others for 10 days.
    • Test on day five, if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and stay home.

  • If you:
    • Completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine over 6 months ago and are not boosted OR
    • Completed the primary series of J&J over two months ago and are not boosted OR
    • Are unvaccinated
  • You Should...
    • Stay home for five days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.
    • Test on day five if possible.

If you develop symptoms get a test and isolate according to CDC guidelines.

 

All Individuals: Vaccinated or Unvaccinated 

  • When UK Health Corps becomes aware of a positive case, they will begin contact tracing. This means both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals who had "close contact" with the COVID-positive individual will be notified and offered support and resources.
  • The CDC defines close contact exposure as being within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more. 

Vaccinated Individuals 

  • Vaccinated individuals will not be required to quarantine or participate in contact tracing unless they test positive for COVID-19 or develop symptoms. They also should wear a mask until tested.
  • The CDC recommends that vaccinated individuals, if directly exposed to a COVID-positive contact, test five days after exposure. 
  • If a vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be subject to standard contact tracing and isolation protocols. These policies are in place to protect the health and safety of the individual who is infected, as well as the larger community. 
  • If a student needs to isolate or self-quarantine, they should contact UK Health Corps for additional guidance and wellness support.
  • If an employee needs to isolate or self-quarantine, they should work with their supervisor to determine if remote work is possible. HR Employee Relations can be reached at 859-257-8758 to help identify remote work or leave options. Any employee who is sick and unable to work, regardless of if it is related to COVID-19, should use sick leave (TDL).

Unvaccinated Individuals

  • All contact tracing protocols will remain in place for individuals who are not vaccinated. 
  • If an unvaccinated individual is identified through contact tracing to be a CDC-defined close contact exposure (within 6 feet of a positive case for 15 minutes or more), they will be required to quarantine irrespective of whether they show symptoms. These policies align with current CDC and local health department guidance and are in place to protect the health and safety of the individual who is infected, as well as the larger community. 
  • If an employee needs to isolate or self-quarantine, they should work with their supervisor to determine if remote work is possible. HR Employee Relations can be reached at 859-257-8758 to help identify remote work or leave options. Any employee who is sick and unable to work, regardless of if it is related to COVID-19, should use sick leave (TDL).

 

Contact Tracing FAQs 

What resources and support are available to me if I am instructed to quarantine or isolate?  

  • The UK Health Corps team has wellness connectors on staff to assist students, faculty and staff with these needs, including technology and academic support. Contact UK Health Corps at healthcorps@uky.edu or 859-218-SAFE.   

  • Additionally, the daily wellness screening, a tool utilized by Health Corps to support the UK community, remains available to all students, faculty and staff. The screening is another resource designed to promote the health and safety of the campus.   

  • The daily wellness screening is a powerful tool to connect students, faculty and staff with resources and support should they be affected by COVID-19. Should you become ill or concerned about a COVID-19 exposure, indicating this on the screening will prompt UK Health Corps to reach out to you and help you evaluate your situation. Health Corps is here to connect you with resources to responsibly manage your own health and protect the health of our community. Please visit the “Screening” section for more information on the daily wellness screening.  

 

Which policymakers and other experts are we working with to establish health and safety policies? 

  • The University of Kentucky is committed to following the latest COVID-19 guidelines from the CDC. In addition to staying up to date with CDC guidelines, UK Health Corps is in regular contact with state and local public health officials to review and interpret those guidelines and apply them to our unique setting.  

  • An interdisciplinary group of UK HealthCare physicians and clinical and research leaders at the University of Kentucky — the START (Screening, Testing and Tracing, to Accelerate Restart and Transition) Team — meets on a regular, ongoing basis to provide constant evaluation of our campus COVID-19 policies and procedures and to assist with the implementation of evolving CDC, state, and local guidelines on our campus. Learn more about the START team here.  

 

What do I do if I am fully vaccinated, but I develop symptoms after being exposed to COVID-19?  

  • You should get tested for COVID-19 about five days after exposure and self-quarantine while you wait on the results. You can contact UK Health Corps for support at 859-218-SAFE or healthcorps@uky.edu. You also may indicate that you are experiencing symptoms via the wellness review app. If you do, a member of UK Heath Corps will contact you to answer any questions and provide support. 

 

What is the difference between quarantine and self-quarantine? 

  • Quarantine refers to a defined period of movement restriction associated with a public health order from a local public health authority or UK Health Corps, typically as a result of an individual’s exposure to someone else who has tested positive for COVID-19. Self-quarantine is a step someone might take at their own discretion and in the interest of their own health and the health of others as a result of a situation related to COVID-19.  

 

As an employee, what are my options if a child or someone I am caring for is exposed to COVID-19 and is required to stay home?  

  • Per the CDC, an exposure is defined only as someone who has had direct contact with a positive case and is not vaccinated. Campus employees (non-healthcare employees) who have been ordered by UK Health Corps or a public health department to quarantine, who feel well enough to work, should consult with their supervisor. If the supervisor agrees there is viable work for the employee to do remotely and agrees to allow the employee to work remotely then the employee can do so without having to utilize sick or vacation time. Supervisors who would like assistance should call Human Resources. More information on sick leave (TDL) is available on the HR website. 

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Facilities

Given UK’s successful vaccination efforts — and our ongoing efforts to communicate about vaccines — offices and classrooms have returned to normal configurations, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Masks are required inside all campus buildings, with few exceptions, as detailed below. Additionally, as in the past, hand sanitizer will be placed at all building entrances, and the UK Facilities Management team will focus on public areas and restrooms.

The air filters we use are applicable to the building up to (and including) MERV 13 filters. All filter change frequencies have increased and are routinely monitored.

Departments can order needed items through the UK Supply Center online catalog available via their website. Questions can be directed to the Supply Center through the Contact information page on their website. Departments should consider utilizing the Supply Center for these items prior to sourcing these type items from a UK contracted vendor by entering a shopping cart/requisition. External suppliers should only be used when filling out and exception request and sending it to UKPurchasing@uky.edu, before the purchase is made.

Classrooms 

  • Classrooms are considered common areas. As such, masks are required for all people, irrespective of vaccination status. Faculty who are vaccinated may remove their masks if they are standing behind plexiglass. However, if they move away from the plexiglass, they should wear a mask.  
  • Faculty members are encouraged to remind students of these requirements on the first day of class.
  • The UK community has a proven track record of complying with policies designed to keep each other safe and respectfully encouraging compliance among friends, peers and colleagues. Below are some tips to help navigate conversations about mask-wearing. 
    • First, assume the best in your colleague, employee or student. They may have forgotten to put it on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus: 
      • Don’t forget your mask.
      • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements.
      • Please wear a mask when you come to into the classroom. 
    • At the same time, mechanisms are in place to address noncompliance. 
    • Noncompliant students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. 
    • If an employee refuses to wear a mask after they have been asked to do so, refer them to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758.
  • Classrooms will be cleaned once daily. Misters will be used, and masks and hand sanitizer will be placed in classrooms. Wipes will also be placed in classrooms as needed.

On-Campus Office Spaces

  • On-campus employees are critical to returning to a more vibrant and residential campus. 
  • It is expected that all staff have been fully transitioned to their FY22 schedule.
  • Office areas will have buckets with cleaning supplies for general use.
  • All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks in indoor spaces on campus where people gather — including shared office spaces, cubicles and other common working spaces. Masks are not required if a vaccinated individual is alone in a private office space.   
  • Employees may ask any visitor to their office or building to leave the room or building if they refuse to comply with the university’s masking policy.
    • Noncompliant students can be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.
    • A noncompliant employee can be reported to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758.

Dining Halls 

  • Dining halls and other related facilities will remain operational at a normal capacity.
  • COVID-19 safety protocols and support – such as plexiglass, hand sanitizing stations and healthy behaviors signage – will remain in place.
  • All individuals should wear a mask while in indoor dining spaces when they are not actively eating or drinking. 
  • Dining hall spaces are cleaned regularly throughout the day to ensure the health and safety of the campus. 
  • Green-to-Go containers are available for a one-time fee of $5. Read more.

 

Facilities FAQs 

Are there any anticipated guidelines that may impact the indoor dining experience (e.g., plexiglass at all locations; reduced seating per table, etc.)? 

  • Plexiglass will still be placed throughout the dining areas. At this time, there is no reduced seating capacity. Individuals are encouraged to make decisions considering their own health and circumstances in these spaces. Dining spaces are cleaned regularly throughout each day. 

 

What are the cleaning protocols for campus buildings?   

  • Our facilities management  team will continue to, work around the clock to keep our spaces clean and safe. We encourage you to take precautions in your own spaces, including regular hand washing and sanitizing of high touch areas in your private workspace.   

 

What will signage look like in facilities? 

  • Signage will reflect current policies which currently require masking in all common areas of indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status.  

 

Are personal protective equipment supplies in common spaces, including classrooms and offices, being replenished? 

  • All personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer and plexiglass dividers, are being monitored and replenished as necessary. If you have requests for personal protective equipment in specific spaces, contact Mary Vosevich at mary.vosevich@uky.edu.

 

What is the process and timeline for ordering additional personal protective equipment if needed? 

  • The UK Supply Center currently has a significant supply of the following items available for departmental ordering:

    • Lysol-brand disinfectant spray 

    • Anti-bacterial, sanitizing wipes 

    • Ear loop face masks and other masks 

    • Nitrile gloves 

    • Hand sanitizer 

  • Departments can order needed items through the UK Supply Center online catalog available via their website. Questions can be directed to the Supply Center through the Contact information page on their website. Departments should consider utilizing the Supply Center for these items prior to sourcing these type items from a UK contracted vendor by entering a shopping cart/requisition. External suppliers should only be used when filling out and exception request and sending it to UKPurchasing@uky.edu, before the purchase is made.  

 

Will the university be providing masks? 

  • Yes. As in the past, the institution will provide masks and other personal protective equipment. Masks will be available at different locations across campus, including libraries, dining facilities, classrooms, etc. Students moving into residence halls also will be provided wellness kits, including two masks. 

 

Can I request signage to use in a campus facility?

 

Does a faculty member or instructor teaching behind plexiglass still need to wear a mask?  

  • If faculty members who are fully vaccinated are teaching behind plexiglass, they do not need to wear a mask or face covering. However, if the faculty member moves away from the plexiglass, they should wear a mask.   

 

Can I request that someone wear a mask, and what do I do if they are unwilling or unable?  

  • At this time, masks are required in all common spaces of indoor facilities regardless of vaccination status. Below are some tips for navigating conversations related to mask-wearing.  

    • First, assume the best in your colleague, employee or student. They may have forgotten to put it on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus:  

      • Don’t forget your mask.  

      • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements.  

      • Please wear a mask when you come to my office/cubicle. 

  • If a colleague, employee or student refuses to wear a mask after they are asked, you can report this behavior via the following platforms: 

  • If an employee refuses to wear a mask after they have been asked to do so, refer them to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758. 

  • The Office of Student Conduct can be contacted here

  • Students can also contact the Academic Ombud for further guidance. 

 

Is the Visitor Center conducting campus visits, and what are the rules associated with those services? 

  • Individuals visiting campus will be required to follow campus mask policies, which include wearing face coverings in all indoor common areas. Individuals who are not vaccinated also should wear a mask outside if they are near other people. For more details including in-person, virtual and group visits, go to visit.uky.edu

 

If I’m a student meeting with a faculty or staff member and he/she refuses to wear a mask, what do I do? 

  • At this time, masks are required in all common spaces of indoor facilities regardless of vaccination status.  

  • Community members should approach these conversations with respect. First, assume the best in the person. They may have forgotten to put it on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support from community members is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus:  

    • Don’t forget your mask!  

    • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements.  

    • It’s my understanding that masks are required in office/cubicle spaces. 

  • If an employee (faculty or staff member) refuses to wear a mask in common areas or gathering spaces, refer them to their supervisor. In the case of faculty, the individual's supervisor will most often be a department chair or college dean. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758. 

 

I am meeting with students in my small office, and I do not know if they are vaccinated. May I ask them to wear a mask when they are in my office? What if I do and they refuse?  

  • At this time, masks are required in all common spaces of indoor facilities regardless of vaccination status. Individuals may instruct others to wear masks in their offices. If the student refuses, you may tell the student that he or she must wear a mask before the meeting can take place. 

  • Employees should approach these conversations with respect. First, assume the best in the student. They may have forgotten to put it on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support from colleagues is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus: 

    • Don’t forget your mask!  

    • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements. 

    • Please wear a mask when you come to my office/cubicle. 

  • If a student refuses to wear a mask in common areas or gathering spaces, we encourage you to reach out to the Office of Student Conduct. If a colleague refuses to wear a mask after asking them to do so, refer them to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257-8758. 

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Housing, Residence Life, and Move-In

Move-In

  • UK’s spring 2022 move-in will reflect that of fall 2021. Students must sign up for move-in appointments, and all individuals will be required to masks when they are navigating indoor common spaces such as hallways, lobbies and elevators. Students will be allowed to bring two guests to their appointment.

Housing and Residence Life 

  • The university will maintain its traditional policies for visitation in residence halls, similar to 2019. Learn more about those policies here. 
  • Individuals will be required to wear masks in common areas and gathering spaces within residence halls. Masks are not required inside of residence hall rooms. 
  • Isolation facilities will continue to be utilized as needed for students who test positive for COVID-19. Students also have the option of returning to their permanent residences during their isolation or quarantine periods. 
  • UK Health Corps will support students who test positive and who move into temporary isolation facilities. 
  • Per the CDC, people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

  • The CDC updated the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

  • Wording to the student housing contract strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccinations.

 

Housing, Residence Life and Move-in FAQs 

Residence halls are returning to traditional occupancy levels. What happens if a roommate is required to quarantine? Is the other roommate expected to stay there? 

  • Per the CDC, high-contact exposures are defined as individuals who have direct contact with positive cases. Therefore, a roommate who was not exposed to a positive case is not required to quarantine even if their roommate is in quarantine. We recommend taking enhanced precautions in shared common spaces during the quarantine period. 

 

What happens if you’re living in an on-campus room with someone, and you’re vaccinated, and they’re not. Do you always have to wear a mask? 

  • As of Monday, August 9, the university instituted an indoor masking policy for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in common spaces. All individuals, irrespective of vaccine status, are required to wear masks when they are in indoor common spaces.  

  • At the beginning of this semester, roommates, as in past semesters, will complete and sign roommate agreement forms. Students may, if they wish, include language about masking in common areas in this form.  

 

Can I ask other students to wear a mask if they come into my room or if we are gathering in a common area? 

  • Students can make their own personal decisions regarding their private living spaces. If you wish to ask other people to wear a mask before entering your room, you may do so. And you can remind others that masks are required, per university policy, in common areas. Here are some tips related to having conversations about masks:  

  • First, assume the best of your peers. They may have forgotten to put their mask on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus:  

    • Don’t forget your mask.  

    • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements.  

    • Please wear a mask when you come to my room. 

 

Does the university have any specific guidance masking guidance related to move-in? 

  • Individuals are required wear masks in all common areas of indoor spaces during move-in regardless of vaccination status. This includes lobbies, elevators, hallways, etc. Individuals can feel free to remove their masks while in individual rooms. 

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Academic Course Delivery  

With our efforts to be back in person, we return to the guidelines set out in our routine academic policies, as communicated to the faculty by the Senate Council Chair [August 2, 2021] https://www.uky.edu/universitysenate/acadpolicy#Excused 

As always, faculty retain the right to set attendance policies for their classes. University approved “excused absences” policies will be honored. UK Health Corps will be providing verifiable documentation of a student’s quarantine/isolation status. These absences are considered excused under university policy. 

Specifically, university-approved “excused absences” means that faculty may not penalize a student for missing class and must accept assignments late that are a result of those excused absences. Faculty may assign make-up work in a manner that best fits the nature of the course as they have designed it.

Students seeking disability-related accommodations, including those involving absences, should contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC). If any alterations are deemed appropriate accommodations, the DRC Consultant will work collaboratively with the student and the faculty member to determine the possibility or ability to provide the accommodation. Any accommodations noted on the student’s letter of accommodations must be provided.

Among other tools, the syllabus presents an opportunity to manage student expectations around attendance and participation in our courses. Including clear statements regarding how the course will be conducted and what will be expected of students can go a long way towards establishing a common understanding.

Each instructor shall determine their policy regarding completion of assigned work, attendance in class, absences at announced or unannounced examinations and excused absences in excess of one-fifth of class contact hours (see SR 5.2.5.2). This policy shall be presented in writing to each class at its first or second meeting. Students' failure to comply with the announced policy may result in appropriate reductions in grade as determined by the Instructor of Record. 

 

Academic Course Delivery FAQs 

 

What is the guidance/policy for faculty if they’re exposed/sick (canceling class, moving class online, etc.)? 

  • Working in consultation with their department chair and/or dean, if a faculty member is required to quarantine or isolate but feels well enough to teach remotely, they are encouraged to do so only while under a quarantine or isolation order from the Health Department or UK Health Corps. As always, you should consult with your primary care health provider regarding your health status. 

  • Per the CDC, people with COVID-19 should isolate for five days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), follow that by five days of wearing a mask when around others to minimize the risk of infecting people they encounter. The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.

  • The CDC updated the recommended quarantine period for anyone in the general public who is exposed to COVID-19. For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than two months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days. Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.  For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day five after exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

 

What safety measures are in place in classrooms?   

  • All classrooms are still equipped with plexiglass, sanitizer and other personal protective equipment. If a faculty member who is fully vaccinated is teaching behind plexiglass, they do not need to wear a mask or face covering. However, if the faculty member moves away from the plexiglass, they should wear a mask. As always, we encourage all members of the UK community to make responsible decisions related to their own health and the health of our community. 

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Events, Activities and Athletics

Events and Activities

  • The institution strongly encourages moving events, where and when possible, to outdoor locations. Event planners can work with the events management team for alternate locations.
  • The institution will provide parameters for on- or off-campus events that are indoors. These will allow for greater capacity and attendance than in fall 2020.
  • Registered Student Organization and Sponsored Student Organization (RSOs and SSOs) events will continue to track attendance for contact tracing purposes. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated student attendees will provide their names for the purpose of taking attendance. This will allow UK Health Corps to engage in contact tracing in the event of a positive test result among event attendees. 
  • All event planners, from across the UK campus, should, as they have in the past, coordinate with the Office of University Events to ensure their event protocols align with university policies. 
  • The Office of University Events will publish policies designed to protect the health and safety of the UK community. More information is available here. 
  • Visit the University Events website

Athletics

  • UK plans to keep Athletics events at full capacity for spring 2022. As a part of the university campus, indoor spaces within athletics facilities will be subject to the same indoor masking policies as the rest of the campus; however, participants in athletics contests will be subject to the relevant COVID-19 policies of the Southeastern Conference or other relevant governing body. 
  • Visit the UK Athletics website

 

 

Events, Activities and Athletics FAQs 

Is UKPD going to do joint patrols again? 

  • Yes. Last fall, University of Kentucky and Lexington Police began a partnership designed to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The partnership, involving both police agencies and the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department, stepped up efforts to monitor and respond to pandemic-related, off-campus Student Code of Conduct violations. This partnership will continue into fall 2021.  

 

Will the university provide any additional guidelines for hosting large in-person events on campus? 

  • We will continue to follow the data and updated policies as additional guidance is available from the CDC and local public health officials. Our Office of University Events will continue to work with event organizers to make sure health and safety considerations for COVID-19 restrictions are taken into account when planning. As we know more, we will communicate broadly with campus. 

 

In addition to off-campus student organization event registration process, will there be any potential for travel restrictions or limitations for student orgs (e.g., formal)?  

  • The university continues to monitor the situation and will communicate with registered student organizations regarding their requests for travel and events. The institution strongly encourages moving events, where and when possible, to outdoor locations. Event planners can work with the events management team for alternate locations. 

 

If we have an event planned in an indoor space, can we still plan on holding it there? Should we consider moving it outside?  

  • We plan for indoor public spaces to remain available for reservation of use with stipulation such as no bake sales/distribution of food. Attendees will be expected to follow university policies with respect to masks—meaning all attendees, irrespective of vaccination status, should wear a mask in indoor common areas or gathering spaces. Event planners are encouraged to consider relocating to outdoor spaces, which are considered safer for large gatherings.  

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Travel

Employees may conduct UK-endorsed international travel to any country that the CDC has designated a risk level 3 or lower for COVID-19. UK-endorsed travel to countries at a risk level 4 must be reviewed and approved. 

All UK-endorsed employee international travel must be registered in UK’s international travel registry. International travel for purely personal reasons (e.g., vacations) should not be registered.

Students on UK-endorsed international travel, including on Education Abroad programs, continue to be reviewed and approved on a case-by-case basis in alignment with UK Administrative Regulation 4:9. This review and approval process should be initiated no later than 6 weeks before the planned departure date. Contact UK’s office of International Health, Safety & Security at ihss@uky.edu or 859-218-4961 for more information on the review and approval process for both employees and students. More information about Education Abroad programs is available here.

Students and employees who are not U.S. citizens or green card holders traveling internationally may have significant trouble returning to the U.S., depending on their destination, visa type, and current travel restrictions. These travelers are strongly encouraged to consult with UK’s office of International Student & Scholar Services before traveling abroad for any purpose.

There is a current requirement that travelers who are not U.S. citizens or green card holders entering the U.S. by air from any part of the world must provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated.   See CDC guidance. In addition to proof of vaccination, air travelers entering the U.S. must show results of a negative coronavirus test taken one day preceding their departure from another country. 

International visitors to campus are permitted. Departments hosting visitors should contact UK Health Corps at healthcorps@uky.edu or 859-218-SAFE for up-to-date guidance about COVID testing, quarantine requirements (if any), vaccines, and onboarding for these visitors.

 

UK HealthCare Employees

Under Tier 4 operations at UK HealthCare, all UK-endorsed state, domestic and international travel for all staff and faculty is currently suspended. The decision was made under an abundance of caution and for the safety of our staff and teams as COVID-19 delta variant cases continue to rise in Kentucky and the U.S. Those who travel to outreach clinics, as well as the physician liaisons, may continue to travel as their jobs dictate as long as they follow current health and safety protocols.

 

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Transportation

  • UK has lifted all capacity restrictions on university vehicles.
  • Individuals should still wear masks while inside university vehicles, regardless of vaccination status. 
  • Per the CDC and state guidelines, masking is required on all public transportation, regardless of vaccination status. 

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Remote Work

Can I change my hybrid remote work agreement? Can I go back to working from home?

President Capilouto announced in an email to campus in May that, in partnership with department and unit managers, staff should begin transitioning to on-site work July 1, with a few exceptions for areas with work needs that require staff to return sooner. The expectation is that all staff fully transitioned to their FY22 schedule (fully on-site, fully remote or hybrid) by the week of August 2.

 

What are my options if I am immunocompromised, or if I live with someone who is immunocompromised?

The UK Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity can help you assess whether you might be eligible for accommodation.

 

I am entirely remote and never come to campus. Why am I getting emails about testing?

Unvaccinated employees who are entirely remote must: 1) Make sure the work address listed in their myUK profile is not a campus address. 2) Contact Human Resources to ensure they have completed the necessary paperwork to be deemed a remote worker.

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Resources for Supervisors/Hiring Officials

What do I do if my employee refuses to wear a mask in a common area or gathering space?

  • Refusal to wear a mask in a common area or gathering space constitutes a violation of university policies. Supervisors may call Employee Relations at 859-257-8758 or use this form to report an incident.

 

Can we ask applicants/interviewees if they’ve been vaccinated?

  • No. The UKHC vaccination requirement should be clearly communicated to all potential new hires during the hiring process, but they are not required to reveal their vaccination status during an interview. Once an individual become an employee of UKHC, vaccination status should be addressed through the same process established for all employees.

 

What should I do if an employee on my team or his/her family member is at high-risk, such as being immunocompromised?

  • The UK Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity can help you assess whether you might be eligible for accommodation.

 

Am I responsible for managing/monitoring my employee's compliance with the UK HealthCare vaccine mandate?

  • All policies and procedures related to vaccination status are monitored through Health Corps to protect individuals’ right to privacy regarding their vaccination status. Supervisors, with the help and direction of UK Human Resources, are responsible for follow up related to noncompliance with campus policy.

 

Am I responsible for managing/monitoring my employee's compliance with the indoor masking policy?

  • Supervisors are expected to communicate with employees about the indoor masking policy, as they would communicate any other university policy. Supervisors should reinforce that compliance is expected for all individuals—faculty, staff and students.
  • We trust our community to comply with these measures, which are in place to protect everyone’s health and safety. This community has, since the beginning of the pandemic, banded together to keep each other safe. At the same time, mechanisms are in place to address noncompliance. Supervisors should communicate that as well.
  • Noncompliant students will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • Use this form to share concerns about employee failure to follow campus masking protocols.

 

Can I receive a list of my employees who are vaccinated?

  • No. All policies and procedures related to vaccination status are monitored through Health Corps to protect individuals’ right to privacy regarding their vaccination status.

 

My vaccinated employees are harassing unvaccinated employees. What should I do?

  • Any harassment is unacceptable. It’s a behavior issue that you must address, as a supervisor, with Employee Relations, as with any other situation.

 

Can we move forward with meetings virtually, rather than in person? Should we be moving everything online?

  • Supervisors should exercise their best judgment when making plans for meetings or large gatherings. If staff meetings take place indoors, all individuals should wear a mask while gathered, in alignment with university policies. Platforms for remote meetings, such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, represent additional options for supervisors to utilize if they choose.

 

Where do I send an employee who wants to be vaccinated? Where can those outside Fayette County go?

  • Instructions for how to schedule a vaccine appointment, as well as information related to locations, hours of operation, etc.,

 

What should I do if an employee is requesting an exemption?

  • UK HealthCare employees received additional information about exemptions during the week of August 16.

 

What should members of my team do if their colleagues are not complying with the university’s mask policy for indoor spaces?

  • Supervisors should encourage their teams to begin by having respectful conversations about mask wearing. Below are some tips for navigating conversations related to mask-wearing.
  • First, assume the best in your colleague, employee or student. They may have forgotten to put it on, or they may not have realized they would be around others. Kind support is one of the best ways to help establish new habits. Here are some ideas on what you can say to support healthy behaviors on campus:
    • Don’t forget your mask.
    • Let’s make sure we follow the mask requirements.
    • Please wear a mask when you come to my office/cubicle.
  • If an employee refuses to wear a mask after they have been asked to do so, refer them to their supervisor. If the employee is a direct report, contact Employee Relations at 859-257- 8758.

 

Are employees required to practice physical distancing?

  • Physical distancing is not a recommendation of the CDC for higher education facilities with successful vaccination programs.

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