COVID-19 Vaccination Update - January 13, 2021
We hope the new year is off to a happy and healthy start. As we prepare for classes to resume next week, we are providing an update on the availability of COVID-19 vaccinations for EKU faculty and staff. Our surveys at the end of the fall semester indicated substantial interest from faculty and staff, with nearly 1000 employees indicating their willingness to be vaccinated.
EKU is currently working with the Madison County Health Department and Baptist Health Richmond to provide access to vaccinations which will be offered according to the current planned phases of vaccination. Kentucky has developed a draft vaccination plan as well as other resources which are available on their website for your review and consideration. The Madison County Health Department is currently compiling a waiting list if you are interested in pre-registering. If your age or a medical condition places you in one of the earlier phases of the vaccine schedule, you might potentially receive the vaccine through local healthcare partners prior to reaching the phase of the vaccine rollout for EKU employees. We anticipate, under current guidelines, the majority of EKU faculty and staff will fall in the 1c phase as essential personnel for higher education. Model Laboratory School employees will fall into phase 1b as K-12 education personnel.
It is worth noting that some of our EKU population are eligible for phase 1a vaccinations as health care personnel. Some of our faculty, staff and students who work in healthcare settings or meet other criteria for the current phase are already receiving their first round of vaccines.
Please be advised that all vaccinations are being made available and administered through local/regional health departments, pharmacies, and healthcare providers and will not be distributed or administered directly by EKU. As we continue to develop the vaccination strategy with our healthcare and community partners, we will provide updates as frequently as possible. This unprecedented rollout of a nationwide vaccination plan is rapidly changing, and we ask for your patience as these plans evolve.
Even with the hope of vaccines, our best tools to fight the spread of illness continue to include mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hand washing. We also ask that you continue to assist our hard-working contact tracing team by self-reporting COVID-19 illness, symptoms, or possible exposure using this form.
To further assess the health of our student population on their return to campus, EKU is partnering with Wild Health to offer free testing for students. Appointments for on-campus testing begin this week and students who are well, but seeking to know their COVID-19 status, can sign up to be tested at http://wildhealthtesting.com/EKU. Students showing symptoms should continue to seek testing at EKU Student Health Services or through their healthcare providers. Employees can receive testing at no cost to them through the many regional testing sites listed at https://govstatus.egov.com/ky-covid-testing.
We successfully completed the fall semester, and with continued diligence we are optimistic for even more success this spring. Thank you for all of your efforts to help keep our EKU community safe and healthy.
Dr. Bryan Makinen, Chair
COVID-19 Task Force
Published on January 13, 2021