12:21:26 UKCOVID2020

University of Kentucky students get tested for COVID-19 at a drive through testing site on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020, at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

An email sent to University Flats residents on Nov. 19 announced that all residents of the on-campus housing facility must be tested for COVID-19 by Monday, Nov. 22. 

According to UK spokesperson Jay Blanton, the recommendation came from UK's START team based on wastewater testing.

Wastewater testing, which relies on testing the pooled water of a building, can be used to identify residences with a higher presence of COVID-19. UK began wastewater testing in September.

Blanton did not respond to the Kernel's question of if there was an outbreak in U Flats.

According to the email, U Flats residents should use on-campus testing sites to receive their mandatory test in the next three days. 

The email urges students to make a testing appointment "as soon as possible."

Symptomatic students should be tested at University Health Services.

According to Sarah Geegan, director of executive communication at UK, this mandatory testing applies to 628 students.

"This includes all residents in U Flats, with the exception of those who have already completed their move-out, or who previously tested positive," Geegan said.

UK has recommended that all students get tested for COVID-19 before departing for Thanksgiving break; this is the first instance of a mandated test at the end of the semester at UK.

According to UK's COVID-19 dashboard, there 301 active cases of COVID-19 among UK students as of Nov. 16.