Weekly testing for unvaccinated individuals no longer required, UK announces


Jayden Riggs, a sophomore clinical management major, gets tested for COVID-19 on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, at K-Lair in Haggin Hall in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Kendall Staton

Starting Monday, April 4, unvaccinated members of the UK campus community will no longer be required to undergo weekly COVID testing. Announced on Sunday in a campus-wide email from UK president Eli Capilouto, this updated policy comes less than a month after the university loosened its on-campus mask restrictions.

With over 90% of the campus community vaccinated against COVID, the university is aiming to adjust its COVID policies to reflect the progress that has been made as effects of the pandemic have started to stabilize.

There has been no indication of a significant rise in positive cases following spring break, according to UK’s coronavirus data management team. 

While the testing policy has changed, the current masking policy is still in place, which requires masks to be worn in classrooms, laboratories, offices and healthcare settings, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. 

Capilouto said he believes UK’s commitment to keeping its community safe has been successful so far, and he aims to continue this trend. 

“Throughout the pandemic, our approach to COVID-19 policies has centered on the well-being of our community, with a foundation of guidance from our START team,” Capilouto said in Sunday’s email. “Our high vaccination numbers coupled with the steady decline in positive cases indicate the success of our efforts to keep our community safe.”

Headed by UK’s College of Medicine Dean, Robert DiPaolo, the START team is a group of UK HealthCare physicians, clinical experts and research leaders who provide advice to the administration on health and safety issues directly related to the COVID pandemic.

DiPaolo said the team reviews scientific literature, examines conditions on campus and reviews CDC guidelines before any change to policies are suggested to the administration. This process is also how recommendations for the loosened mask policy were made.

“We still feel that we must be mindful of – and diligent and careful about – COVID, but it shouldn’t dominate our lives in the same way that it has for the past two years,” he said.