UK moving forward with plans for fall semester, prepared to adjust if needed

(WKYT News)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 5:29 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - August 23 marks the first day of classes for the University of Kentucky.

The university plans to go back to normal operations, and leaders are still figuring out what that’s going to look like.

“It’s just been a normal college experience, honestly,” UK student Andrew Box said.

This summer brought a sense of normalcy to UK’s campus.

“If you are vaccinated you can have your mask off in the buildings, in classrooms you can have your mask off,” Box said.

Students like Box are looking forward to the upcoming fall semester, but being careful at the same time.

“Everybody’s been following the rules. I’ve seen multiple people with masks. Nobody’s trying to break that because with COVID you have to take it seriously,” Box said.

Despite high vaccination rates across campus, Box said he’s already seen other students get sick.

“We know we will have cases. There’s no way around that,” UK spokesperson Jay Blanton said.

Blanton said they’re trying to keep those numbers low though. The vaccine isn’t required, but they’re creating incentives for students who get the shot.

Blanton also said they’re ready to adjust if cases take a turn for the worst.

“We have a whole emergency operations infrastructure that will continue to meet to again assess where we are with policies and procedures to make sure that we’re doing everything possible to keep our community healthy and safe,” Blanton said.

Box said he’s more than willing to follow those health and safety procedures because he doesn’t want to take steps back.

“Everybody is trying to be on their best behavior with it because it is a serious thing and everybody wants to take it as seriously as possible,” Box said.

Blanton said the university will announce those vaccine incentives in the next few weeks. Students will also have opportunities to get the shot on campus.

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