UK easing many COVID restrictions

UK easing many COVID restrictions
Published: Jan. 10, 2023 at 4:01 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The University of Kentucky is rolling back some of its COVID-19 policies.

According to UK’s COVID-19 guidance posted to their website, the UK health corps will no longer be conducting contact tracing. Wastewater testing will also end in January, and new hires at the University, except those included in the CMS mandate, will no longer be required as of February 1 to provide proof of vaccination.

“COVID has changed, and the world has changed a lot since we first encountered it back in 2020,” said Health Corps Executive Director Hannah Simms. “So really trying to make sure we’re lining up with best-known science, best available recommendations from public health professionals and head into the semester that keeps our people safe but also allows our students and faculty to be successful here.”

The UK Health Corps will now take an "on-demand" approach, offering up advice and resources upon request and answering calls and e-mails for those with questions or concerns.

“We also know there’s a lot more out there than COVID, so our goal at the University is to make all of these decisions easy for our students, faculty, staff, but also through UK healthcare through those partnerships to continue make places where the broader community can seek care easily,” said Simms.

Brad Zoppoth is an attorney who represented employees in several vaccine mandate-related cases across the state in late 2021. He says these sort of rollbacks and relaxed restrictions are becoming more common.

“In my opinion, I don’t think it’s all that surprising given a couple of things,” said Zoppoth. “One, the number of positive cases is way down from what it was in early 2022 and 2021, and we don’t have the active emergency temporary standard that OSHA issued in November of 2021, that’s no longer in place.”

Morehead State University tells us the vaccine was never required for students or staff but was encouraged. Their guidance and decision on the matter has not changed.

Health officials say we are now learning to live with and adapt to the virus and are finally heading to the “new normal” we heard so much about during the pandemic.