covid testing

UK senior Seth Atkins gets tested for COVID at the Blazer Dining/Boyd Hall location.

The University of Kentucky completed its fifth day of COVID testing Friday with few issues. 

The testing, which took place at five locations across campus, was easily navigable and simple, according to several UK students. 

"I was expecting a really long line," said Grace Ross, a sophomore. "I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was."

While UK spokesperson Jay Blanton said the drive-through clinic at Kroger Field has experienced a higher volume than the other walk-in sites, testing volunteers said people have been just trickling in, with little to no wait time.

Students also said that the COVID test wasn't nearly as painful as they anticipated.

"People were making it out to be really bad," said Seth Atkins, a senior. "But it went pretty well, it was quick." 

When students arrive at the testing site, volunteers will ask them for their link blue ID and whether they are living on or off-campus. Then, students will go to the tester, who will ask them to lower their mask before inserting a Q-tip into each nostril for 5-10 seconds. Typically, this causes the person's eyes to water for a little while. 

"It tickled," Ross said. "It made me want to sneeze."

After getting tested, students are given their wellness kit, which includes hand sanitizer, a thermometer, two masks and alcohol wipes. The thermometer will be required for the fall semester's mandatory daily screening process, further details of which Blanton said will be announced shortly.

Through Wednesday, UK had tested about 4,500 students, according to Blanton. The testing results, including number of students tested and positive tests, are being recorded on a three-day lag on UK's website

While testing will continue through August 22, students are asked to get tested before arrival on campus. Blanton said that if students don't get tested before school begins on August 17, they can still attend class.

"We realize some students will still be tested after they arrive," he said. "We will ask them to screen each day and if they show symptoms, we will work to get them tested immediately."

Students should expect their results in 24 to 48 hours: if positive, they will receive a phone call with further instructions, and if negative, they will be contacted via text message or email. 

As of Tuesday's testing, 23 students have tested positive. Blanton said UK will utilize data points like PPE supply, number of available quarantine/isolation beds and hospital critical care capacity when making decisions regarding sending students home or going completely virtual. 

"A combination of factors – and data – will drive our decisions, not one number." he said. "Our goal is to provide the best educational experience possible in the safest possible environment. We want to make it as easy as possible to keep our community safe."