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UK To Alter Masking, Other COVID-19 Requirements On June 14


The University of Kentucky is sticking with its plan not to mandate COVID-19 vaccination, but unvaccinated employees, students, and visitors to campus will still be required to wear masks indoors and in crowded areas outdoors.

Starting Monday, June 14, those who are vaccinated will not be required to wear facial coverings outside or inside non-UK HealthCare buildings. The school says there is also no need for anyone who’s received the shots to fill out the university’s daily online screener. No quarantine or tracing protocols will apply to the vaccinated either.

It's a different picture, however, for people who have not been inoculated.

They will still need to fill out the screener and remain subject to contact tracing, while unvaccinated students physically returning to campus will be required to undergo entry and ongoing testing.

Meanwhile, offices and classrooms are set to return to normal configurations, athletic events will restart at full capacity, and UK will remove language discouraging domestic travel, while strongly urging vaccination before boarding a plane.

See full changes below.

Vaccines, Masks, Screening, Testing and Tracing


  • Vaccines are not mandated, but strongly encouraged. We will, of course, continue to monitor this issue and change plans, if necessary, to ensure the health and safety of our campus.
  • At the same time, a robust vaccination communication and engagement plan will continue into the fall.
  • As part of that effort, we will strongly encourage those who have been vaccinated to verify that status with the university so that requirements for steps such as testing and screening can be modified. Upload vaccination documentation here, via our self-report tool.
  • UK will accept all vaccines approved by the World Health Organization.
  • Thus far, about 70 percent of our campus – students, faculty and staff – have been vaccinated. We want this number to continue to increase.


  • People who are vaccinated are not required to wear masks or face coverings in campus outdoor spaces or inside non-UK HealthCare campus buildings.
  • Mask requirements for individuals who are not vaccinated will remain in place. In other words, individuals who are not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask or face covering when inside any campus facility, including recreation facilities. Individuals who are not vaccinated also should wear a mask outside if they are near other people.
  • The best path forward, especially to maximize the safety of you and others, and to be able to take full advantage of all campus resources and privileges is to GET VACCINATED


  • Members of the UK community who have been vaccinated no longer are required to complete the university’s daily screener.
  • Those who have not been vaccinated will be required to respond to the daily screener.
  • If vaccinated individuals are still receiving reminders to complete the screener, it is possible that we do not have their vaccination documentation on file. Upload that information here, via our self-report tool.

Student Testing

  • Students who are vaccinated will not be required to complete COVID-19 entry or ongoing testing.
  • Students who physically come to campus and who have not been vaccinated will be required to complete an entry test and to continue testing on a regular basis, likely once a month, as students did throughout the spring 2021 semester. Non-compliant students will be referred, as in the past, to the Office of Student Conduct.
  • If vaccinated students are still contacted about completing a COVID-19 test, it is possible that we do not have their vaccination documentation on file. Upload that information here, via our self-report tool.

Contact Tracing

  • No quarantine or tracing protocols will be required for vaccinated individuals.
  • All other contact tracing protocols will remain in place for individuals who are not vaccinated.

Offices, Classrooms, Events, Travel, Housing, Dining and Transportation

Offices and Classrooms

  • Given UK’s successful vaccination efforts – and our ongoing efforts to communicate about vaccines – offices and classrooms will return to normal configurations this summer and fall, in accordance with CDC guidelines.
  • Over the summer, UK officials – including the START team and in accordance with federal and state guidelines – will monitor this issue as we prepare for the fall. As always, our top priority will be the health and safety of our campus community.

Events, Activities and Athletics

  • We are planning to return our Athletics events to full capacity in fall 2021.
  • Capacity for on-campus events will return to 2019 policies, which allow for greater capacity and attendance.
  • Registered Student Organization (RSO) events will continue to track attendance for contact tracing purposes.


  • The university will follow CDC guidelines, which continue to be updated, with respect to international travel.
  • UK will remove the language and guidance currently in place, which discourages domestic travel. We will add language strongly encouraging members of our community to be fully vaccinated before traveling.

Housing, Move-in and K Week

  • UK will return to the move-in protocols utilized prior to COVID-19, and K Week will return to its traditional format as it was conducted in 2019.
  • The university will return to its traditional format for visitation as it was conducted in 2019, with the above plans. 
  • Isolation facilities will continue to be utilized as needed.
  • UK will add wording to the housing contract for students, strongly encouraging COVID-19 vaccinations.

Dining Halls

  • Dining halls and other related facilities will operate at normal capacity.
  • COVID-19 safety protocols and support – such as plexiglass, hand sanitizing stations and healthy behaviors signage – will remain in place.
  • While not eating, individuals who are not vaccinated are asked to either wear a mask or maintain an appropriate physical distance from others.


  • UK will lift all capacity restrictions on university vehicles.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.