By Kody Kiser
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 24, 2020) — Beginning Aug. 3 and running through Aug. 22, University of Kentucky offered COVID-19 testing on campus for its approximately 30,000 students — undergraduate, graduate and professional — at no cost to students. The idea was to create a baseline for university officials as plans are implemented for ongoing daily screening, contact tracing and other health measures.
In addition, students moving into residence halls on campus are being provided ‘health kits’, containing digital thermometers, sanitizers, masks and other items, in an effort to promote healthy behavior to reduce transmission of the virus and flatten the curve. This behavior includes washing hands, sanitizing common surfaces, and maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from others … otherwise known as “social distancing.”
It’s that concept of distancing that is the focus of this episode of "Behind the Blue." While physically distancing from each other is part of the desired behavior health officials have been urging in order to combat this pandemic, humans have basic needs for emotional and social connection, and members of our society are being asked to do what we aren’t always well-equipped to do in the face of a crisis — nothing. On this week’s podcast, Tony Love, an assistant professor of sociology in the UK College of Arts and Sciences, will be talking about the importance of staying socially connected — even during times when we cannot be physically together.
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The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.