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Dear UK Community,

We have promised throughout this semester to let robust data and health expertise drive our community’s response to the coronavirus. And we promised to keep you informed at each important step in our path together.

That approach shaped our mandatory testing policy for students who would be on campus this fall. And it drove our decision — as part of the next phase of our efforts — to re-test thousands of students in recent days who had a higher rate of infection and exposure to the virus.

Now we are taking the next step by releasing an updated and even more comprehensive dashboard that will track and report, on a daily basis, the current campus impact as it relates to COVID-19.

A bit of background: Data in the dashboard are presented in the context of the 25,373 students who, as of August 30, the university has required to complete a COVID-19 PCR test (students who don’t physically come to campus are not required to be tested). It will be updated daily to reflect the data driving everything we’ll do going forward. Specifically, the dashboard — which you can view here — details the following:

  • Total active cases, defined as the number of UK students, to the knowledge of UK Health Corps, who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have not yet been released from their respective isolation locations or county health departments.
  • Total recovered cases, defined as the number of students who previously tested positive and have since been released from their respective health departments in the counties in which they are isolating. This also applies to cases that are beyond 14 days of the test date.
  • Total new cases, defined as the number of students who have tested positive for COVID-19 who did not previously exist in UK's database of detected results.
  • Number of students currently in isolation. Self-isolation separates people who have tested positive for COVID-19 from the general population. Notably, this differs from quarantine, which separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to, but have not tested positive, for COVID-19.
  • Percentage of students and employees who have completed the required daily screening. All students and employees who come on to campus are required to complete a COVID-19 screening, every day, seven days a week. Completion of this screening is necessary to remain in compliance with university requirements.
  • UK-collected test results to date. These data reflect PCR COVID-19 test results conducted through on-campus testing and retesting (Wild Health and University Health Service) as well as PCR tests from other healthcare providers uploaded to University Health Service, from the beginning of the semester through present day. As the dashboard reflects, based on active cases and daily attestation numbers, UK's positivity rate remains below 2%.

Seven days a week, the UK Health Corps contact tracing team coordinates with university data analysts to detect trends, implement interventions and provide tailored support to members of the university community. The team’s efforts are further informed by the daily screening all UK community members are required to complete if they come to campus, as well as the robust baseline testing required of all UK students who plan to physically interact with the campus community.

This data-driven intervention underscores our resolve to provide the safest residential experience possible. Against that backdrop, I know that people across our campus are asking themselves every day how they can, in new ways, continue to connect with each other and show how much they care.

It is the question we ask of ourselves each day. I am proud to be a member of a community that answers that question with compassion and commitment.

Eli Capilouto