LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As Thanksgiving break and the end of the fall semester quickly approaches, university officials are urging students to get a negative COVID-19 test before leaving campus.
Positive cases are still on the rise in Kentucky, and universities are trying to mitigate the spread during the holiday season.
"It's just really important that everyone do that baseline of health check again before they go back," University of Kentucky spokesman Jay Blanton said.
Both UK and the University of Louisville have communicated guidance to their students. For a list of places students and staff can get tested on campus, click here. To find out where U of L students can get tested, click here.
"When you're in college, you're around random people every single day, whether that's in class or just simply eating," UK senior Isaiah Jones said. "You interact with a lot of different people."
Jones said students at UK are eager to get back home. The university's last day of classes is Nov. 24. Many of the students want to keep their families healthy and are planning to get tested before leaving, Jones said.
"Something I'm doing before I go back home for Thanksgiving, being around people like my grandmother, is getting tested," he said. "And two or three days, I'll just bundle up in my apartment before going home and not be around anybody."
Health care professionals are also recommending students do this, but more importantly, isolate as much as possible before going home.
"Dial back your social engagements, today," said Dr. Tony Weaver with UofL Health. "Yesterday, you should've done that so that you're not meeting with a lot of people before you're going home to your parents or your grandparents."
However, the clock is ticking on time to isolate, so that may not be an option for some at the moment.
Weaver said if so, Thanksgiving with immediate family members needs to look different.
"It would be wearing a mask in the house, treating them as if they're strangers rather than family," he said.
Students will return to UK after the holidays, and the university is requiring everyone be tested upon arrival.
"When we work together, and when people comply with those healthy behaviors, we can really manage and mitigate the spread of the virus as a community," Blanton said.
U of L is recommending the same for its students who will return after the holidays, too.
"These simple steps will help us maintain that positive momentum through the remainder of 2020 and position us well for the Spring semester," U of L said in a letter to students.
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