UK officials planning for a more normal fall semester, vaccines not required

(Source: WKYT)
Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 3:52 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - With plans still being made for the fall semester, so far the University of Kentucky doesn’t plan to require students to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Spokesperson Jay Blanton says that’s largely because they’re pleased with the progress they’ve had just encouraging people.

“Because of what we had at Kroger Field with that massive makeshift vaccination clinic at Kroger Field, really a large majority of our campus community has been vaccinated. Some 80% of our faculty, some 70% of our staff, more than 61% of our students,” Blanton said.

The discussions about what the fall semester will look like are happening right now. They’ve got a team of UK HealthCare physicians and clinical and research leaders working on those plans.

“Some of the questions I think we need to ask and go through with our start team and our emergency operations folks is to take a look at things like testing. Is it optional? Do you mandate that?” Blanton said.

One big change is their location for that mass testing and vaccination clinic won’t be available.

“We’re not going to have a mass clinic at a football field because there’s going to be a football team playing there. And fans in the stands as you know. Our football program announced yesterday the expectation is to have fans in the stands this fall,” Blanton said.

While they have increased their online offerings Blanton says their expectation for the fall is to have more than 90% of their classes in person.

“Our goal and what we want to tell our students and families and faculty and staff who are already preparing for this is that fall 2021 looks a lot more like what we all want to look like, a much more normal campus operation,” Blanton said.

A spokesperson for Eastern Kentucky University told us while they are strongly encouraging vaccines for employees and students in the fall, they will not be a requirement.

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