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Effective immediately, UPIKE announces it will lift its indoor mask requirement and transition to mask optional for students, faculty, staff and visitors in most campus facilities. This change comes at a time when the community and campus COVID numbers are on a decline.
Masks will be optional in residence halls, offices, athletic venues, campus dining locations and event spaces. Masks are required in classroom settings; however, faculty may, at their sole discretion, lift the mask mandate in their classroom at any time.
In healthcare settings like the Kentucky College of Optometry Dr. Jerald F. Combs Eye Clinic and the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine OMT Clinic, masks will still be required.
UPIKE realizes for some this transition can be met with excitement but perhaps some uneasiness as well, so anyone in the campus community who feels more comfortable continuing to wear their mask is encouraged to do so.
This update to UPIKE’s masking policy will continue to be evaluated by university leadership and local and state health advisors.
Students and employees of UPIKE are strongly encouraged to obtain the COVID-19 vaccination. While the vaccination is not currently required to reside, attend classes, and work at UPIKE, certain students, faculty, and staff who work in health care or clinical settings are required to be vaccinated. Students and employees who have been vaccinated and are eligible for a booster are strongly encouraged to obtain a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Students and Employees who test positive for COVID-19:
Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for at least five days and can then return once they are symptom free and fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing meds. Upon return, they must continue wearing a high-quality mask for an additional five days. If you have moderate to severe symptoms including respiratory symptoms, you should isolate for the full ten days. You are required to wear a well-fitting face mask for ten full days from the start of symptoms. Isolation may not be shortened if a mask cannot be worn properly and consistently.
Students that remain on campus after receiving a positive test for COVID-19 will be housed in a residence hall, designated for isolation, and will have meals delivered (as capacity allows).
Students and Employees who have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19:
If you have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, you must wear a well-fitting face mask for ten days from your last exposure. You should test for COVID-19 on day five or upon experiencing any symptoms. If feeling symptomatic regardless of test outcome, assume it is COVID until you have 3 negative tests on separate days.
All information regarding vaccination status and/or testing results will be kept confidential and shared only with those UPIKE employees who have a need to know.
Lindsay Elliott, MA, CAPECOVID CoordinatorCell: 615-218-6068Office: 606-218-5359Email: LindsayElliott@upike.edu