LOUISVILLE, Ky. — COVID-19 cases are surging and at least one Kentucky university has adjusted the start date of its spring semester as a result.

What You Need To Know

  • Northern Kentucky University is delaying the start of its spring semester

  • UK and UofL are slated to begin classes as scheduled on Jan. 10

  • All universities are following CDC guidelines and stressing vaccinations and boosters

Northern Kentucky University announced Tuesday it is delaying the start of spring classes one week. All NKU classes will now begin on Jan. 18. In a statement NKU president Dr. Ashish Vaidya said, "Current regional case information is eye-opening, with record infections of 120 per 100,000 per day and higher throughout Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati. The regional transmission rate has risen to 1.3, which is also as high as we have seen."

NKU is also delaying move-in day for students who are living in residence halls. They are now being asked to move in on Jan. 14, but says accommodations will be made if a student needs to move in sooner.

Once classes resume, NKU is asking its staff to include fewer in-person activities in their classes. The school isn't prohibiting in-person classes, but is asking its faculty to replace some in-person activities with hybrid options. 

The school says it is also looking at additional changes including potential alterations to dining and other services. 

NKU is encouraging all of its students and faculty to get vaccinated to receive booster shots. 

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto posted a message on the school's website Monday. Classes begin at UK on Jan. 10 and Capilouto said, "Our return to campus — with students living in residence halls and most of our courses being offered in-person similar to our recent fall semester — remains a priority, even as we will vigilantly monitor the trajectory of the virus and do what needs to be done to protect our community. "

UK, like every university, is stressing the vaccine and booster shots for everyone on campus. Capilouto said, "Based on an initial assessment of our faculty, staff and student population for the spring semester, about 87% of our community is partially or fully vaccinated."

Kentucky says it will also provide KN95 masks for everyone on campus. The school says it has purchased two masks for every student, faculty and staff member and will share details on distribution later this week. 

Capilouto also said the school will follow the latest CDC guidelines regarding isolation protocols. 

Like UK, the University of Louisville will start classes on Jan. 10. In a note posted on the school's website from interim president Lori Stewart Gonzalez on Dec. 30, 2021, UofL will follow the same guidelines it had in place before the winter break. The letter said, "We will continue to monitor the situation and update you on any changes, if necessary. We also want to remind you that we are a heavily vaccinated campus, with more than 91 percent of our students, faculty and staff having been fully or partially vaccinated."