LEXINGTON, Ky. — As schools in Fayette County start up their spring semester, COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
The University of Kentucky and the Fayette County Public School District have decided to keep their students in person for the time being.
What You Need To Know
- The University of Kentucky is requiring students and staff to wear masks on campus and incentivizing vaccines and boosters
- Since Monday, the Fayette County Public Schools has reported around 200 new cases within students, resulting in nearly 300 students in quarantine
- FCPS and UK are working to prioritize in-person learning this semester
- UK officials said they will continue their requirement for unvaccinated students and staff members to get tested weekly starting this week
Simon Davies is taking a course at the University of Kentucky, and saidthe safety guidelines in place make him feel safe.
“It’s all about a risk-to-benefit ratio. I think that, provided that everything is as safe as can be with everything that's able to be given out to students, then the benefits in-person outweighs the risk of getting sick,” Davies said.
The University of Kentucky is requiring students and staff to wear masks on campus and incentivizing vaccines and boosters.
Davies said he's glad the school is taking these precautions, and focusing their efforts to keep students in the classroom.
“There's all sorts of different factors and it was pretty obvious that mental health was a huge and massive decline during the online courses. So it's trying to find a balance between all sorts of different factors of health and risk,” Davies said.
Jay Blanton, UK's chief communication officer, said they plan on welcoming students back on campus this weekend, and will start classes on Monday.
Blanton highlighted concerned with the increase of cases in Fayette County, but believes the school has taken enough safety measures to overcome any challenges they could face.
“We know we're going to have, like everyone else, we're going to experience a spike in cases driven by this new variant omicron, but we also know that we are the most heavily vaccinated place in the state of Kentucky. And vaccinations are key to keeping us safe,” Blanton said.
Similar to UK, Fayette County Public Schools have COVID-19 safety procedures also in place for this new semester: requiring masks to be worn at all times, continuing their test to stay in the program and encouraging vaccinations.
Since Monday, the school district has reported around 200 new cases within students, resulting in nearly 300 students in quarantine. Despite the increase in cases, UK and FCPS say they are working to prioritize in-person learning this semester, and will change approaches as needed.
As students move back on campus, the University of Kentucky will continue its requirement for unvaccinated students and staff members to get tested weekly starting this week, officials said.