UK takes down basketball hoops, closes Arboretum entrance

A skateboarder rides across the Blue Courts on the University of Kentucky campus on Saturday, March 28, 2020, after the hoops on the basketball goals were taken down after Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton closed other outdoor athletic facilities to better enforce social distancing. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Sydney Momeyer

The University of Kentucky has started taking more measures to reduce gatherings.

Last Thursday, UK removed all basketball hoops from their courts on campus. The following evening, they made the decision to barricade the Alumni Drive entrance to the Arboretum. The move to close the Arboretum came on the same day the university announced the first COVID-19 cases in the UK community.

These decisions are in accordance to city measures taken throughout Lexington, as well as measures taken throughout the state, to enforce social distancing rules from the CDC.

“While we understand the desire for people to get out in this beautiful weather, we made the decisions with respect to the courts and Arboretum in the best interests of everyone’s health and in accordance with the federal and state guidelines,” said UK spokesperson Jay Blanton.

A few weeks ago, the school announced they would be closing for the rest of the semester, moving to online classes, due to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

By March 27, all students living in residence halls needed to be moved out unless there was a pre-approved reason for staying behind. 

Of the 6,849 students who were living in the dorms in the spring semester, about 450 undergraduate and 60 graduate students have applied to stay, a UK press release stated. Those students are being housed in Boyd, Jewell and possibly Blazer Hall.

As for more closures of public spaces on campus, such as the tennis courts, Blanton said they would be evaluating these spaces as the UK administration seeks “to protect the health, safety and well-being of everyone in the campus community.”