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UK students feeling safe on campus despite rise in COVID cases in Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Health officials reported another 81 new COVID-19 cases in Lexington Tuesday morning.

That brings the city’s total to 4,602

The latest numbers come as the classes are underway at the University of Kentucky. New safety guidelines have been placed across campus and officials are keeping an eye on the reopening process.

Students tell us they’re aware of the coronavirus, but they’re also feeling pretty safe with the steps the university has taken.

Monday, was the first day of classes at the University of Kentucky, but a lot of those classes were taking place online.

The classrooms that were in use, had desks and seats spaced out. People in charge of the facilities told us they removed more than 10,000 seats across campus.

The students we talked to Tuesday told us they were aware of that outbreak at UNC-Chapel Hill. That university just moved all of their classes back online after an outbreak of the coronavirus.

According to their student newspaper, the positivity rate at UNC-Chapel Hill rose from 2.8 percent to 13.6 percent last week.

So far, the testing here at the University of Kentucky has shown their positivity rate has been below one percent.

Students tell us their classes are broken up between online and in-person, a few students told us they’re only on campus a couple of hours each week.

While they are worried about the virus, they are also happy to be learning in-person again.

“It’s different for sure. Just with everything going on,” said freshman Debrah Fox. “Classes and office hours are online, which makes it a little bit different, but I think all of the students, freshmen, the seniors are all just happy they were able to be back and just be in this environment.”

One big concern for the spread of the virus is off-campus activities.

The university has said they will take disciplinary steps against anyone involved in activities that represent a danger to fellow students, including parties during a pandemic.

Through last Friday, the university has tested almost 17,000 students and staff. So far, they’ve had 160 positive results.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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