COVID-19 Surveillance Testing Protocol

Under the UK HealthCare (UKHC) COVID-19 surveillance testing protocol, providers and staff who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are required to take routine COVID-19 PCR tests to ensure they are not infected with COVID-19 and to support a safe environment of care.

The frequency of these tests will be determined by UK HealthCare’s operational tier status or federal requirement*:

  • Tier 4 = Weekly testing required
  • Tier 3 = Federal mandate of weekly testing. If that mandate is lifted, biweekly surveillance testing required.
  • Tier 2 = Federal mandate of weekly testing. If that mandate is lifted, no routine PCR testing is required.
  • Tier 1 = Federal mandate of weekly testing. If that mandate is lifted, no routine PCR testing is required.

*Federal mandate currently requires weekly surveillance testing of unvaccinated employees.

In order to begin this testing protocol, unvaccinated employees are required to complete an initial COVID-19 PCR test by October 1.

COMPLIANCE WITH THIS TESTING PROTOCOL AND THESE INSTRUCTIONS IS A CONDITION OF CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT.

Group 1

UK HealthCare providers and staff (including persons at the colleges of Dentistry, Health Sciences, Medicine, Nursing, Public Health and Pharmacy, Kentucky Medical Services Foundation, Inc. (KMSF), Eastern State Hospital, Central Kentucky Management Services, Inc. (CKMS), Lexington Clinic, and STEPS employees working at UKHC residing 50 or fewer miles from 800 Rose St., Lexington, KY.

Employees are required to use MyChart to self-schedule an appointment at one of our designated testing locations. When logged into MyChart, after selecting “Visits,” next select “Employee COVID testing,” which will allow you to select your preferred testing location.

  • Alumni Drive-Thru Clinic testing site, 2317 Alumni Park Plaza, Lexington, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday – Friday / 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday
  • Kentucky Clinic, Wing D, 5th Floor, 740 S. Limestone, Lexington, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday -Friday / 7 – 11 a.m., Saturday
  • Good Samaritan Professional Arts Center, 135 E. Maxwell St., Lexington, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • Eastern State Hospital, 1350 Bull Lea Road, Lexington, 6:30 – 9:00 a.m., Monday – Saturday (ESH employees only)

Employees are encouraged to schedule testing before or after a shift or coordinate testing times with their manager/supervisor to ensure minimal impact to staffing.

If an employee is on an approved absence (family medical leave or vacation leave) for the entirety of their work week, the employee is exempted from the required testing protocol for their work week. The employee must obtain a negative PCR COVID test within 96 hours of their return to work.  If the employee is absent for only part of their work week, the employee is expected to comply with the testing protocol for their work week.

Individual test results will be stored in Epic, UK HealthCare’s electronic health record (EHR), and will also be accessible to the individual through their MyChart portal. For those who do not have a MyChart account, please click here to set up an account. The MyChart help desk number is 859-218-6221 or 844-820-7344 (toll free).

A MyChart account is needed to self-schedule testing appointments. Those who do not have online access to MyChart may call 859-562-3131 for assistance in scheduling appointments for testing.

Group 2

If you fall into Group 1 but are working from home remotely 100% of the time, you are only required to test and receive results 96 hours or less prior to coming to a UKHC or ESH facility for a work-related purpose. A negative test result obtained within the required timeframe must be submitted by you prior to your travel to a UKHC or ESH facility.

Those who reside 50 or fewer miles from 800 Rose St., Lexington, KY, should follow the instructions for Group 1 on how to self-schedule a test.

Those who reside more than 50 miles from 800 Rose St., Lexington, KY, may test locally and are not required to use one of UK HealthCare’s designated testing locations.

Those who do not use one of UKHC’s designated testing locations to complete their COVID-19 PCR test will need to submit their results using one of the methods listed below. The test result must clearly shows the individual’s name, the date of the test, and the result of the test, or it will not be accepted. The test must be a PCR test or it will not be accepted for this protocol requirement. Tests done at Wild Health are considered outside tests and will fall under this process.

By self-submitting your test results, the employee acknowledges and consents to the testing and reporting process, including but not limited to the information listed below under “Information that your manager/supervisor and/or their proxy will receive.”

What happens to an employee’s test results?

Testing at a UKHC/ESH location:

  • Once the initial test is completed, results will be automatically loaded into the individual’s MyChart account.
  • If a person tests positive for COVID-19 during this process, they will receive a phone call from the UKHC Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) office with further instructions regarding potential exposures, length of quarantine, when they may return to work, and other questions/concerns that may arise.
  • If a person tests negative during this process, they will not receive a call from IPAC and should continue to report to work following UKHC’s standard COVID-19 safety protocols.

Testing at other locations:

  • If an individual tests at Wild Health or another location outside of a UKHC-designated testing site and knows they are submitting a positive result, they must call IPAC (859-323-6337) for instructions. If they self-submit, their results will go to IPAC.

Information that an employee’s manager/supervisor and/or their proxy will receive

  • Regardless of whether an individual tests at a UK HealthCare location or self-submits their results, their information will be uploaded to UK HealthCare’s Vaccination Compliance Tracker (VCT), a tool that is separate from the Epic EHR and the MyChart portal.
  • If an employee tests at one of UK HealthCare’s designated testing locations, UKHC will request a signed authorization from the individual to transfer the information from Epic to VCT.
  • If there are questions about this authorization, please contact vaccinequestions@uky.edu.
  • A person can decline to sign the authorization, but if so, they will need to self-submit their results to IPAC each time they test by either emailing their results to externalcovidresults@uky.edu or faxing the results to 859-218-7667.
  • By self-submitting their results, the employee:
    • Consents to the disclosure of their results to the University for legitimate educational interests or the health and well-being of campus as appropriate and to any UKHC, KMSF, CKMS or ESH facility for the health and well-being of those facilities as appropriate;
    • Consents to the disclosure of their results to the county, state, or to any other governmental entity as may be required by law;
    • Acknowledges that the University may de-identify their test results to share them with others, including, but not limited to, those with whom the person may have come into contact;
    • Acknowledges that their results will be loaded into VCT as part of their employment record or their vendor record, as applicable, for the purposes of campus, UKHC, CKMS, KMSF and ESH health, well-being, and safety monitoring; and
    • Acknowledges that Employee Health or others, including managers and supervisors, may contact the employee about their vaccination status, including the advisability of booster immunizations.
  • For business continuation purposes, the individual’s manager, supervisor and/or their proxy will receive communications only from VCT. This information will include, (1) whether they are compliant with the testing protocol, and (2) if they tested positive for COVID-19.
  • No one in Employee Relations is permitted to access an employee’s Epic health records.
  • An employee’s manager, supervisor or their proxies are not permitted to access the employee’s Epic health records as part of this testing protocol.

Testing reminders

The frequency of UK HealthCare’s email reminders will correspond to UK HealthCare’s current operational tier status as outlined above.

For instance, during Tier 4 status, employees on this protocol will receive an automated email four days from their last negative COVID-19 PCR test result with a link informing the employee that they have three days to self-schedule their next test.

Recent federal developments may cause UK HealthCare to be testing on a permanent weekly testing schedule. If that becomes the case, an announcement will be made in the COVID Daily Briefing and the employee’s automated reminders will continue to reflect a weekly frequency.

Compliance

For those who fail to comply with the testing protocol, other measures, including the possibility of corrective action, will be implemented.

Compensation

Non-exempt, hourly employees will receive 0.25 hour pay for each COVID-19 test that they obtain in accordance with this protocol. There is no need to clock in for the weekly surveillance test, and no action is required of the manager on the employee’s time record.

If on average testing time exceeds 15 minutes, UK HealthCare will make the necessary adjustment.

Other important information

If at any point an employee chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they should self-report their updated vaccination status at UK Health Corps Self Report.

  • If an employee tests positive during this testing protocol, they will be removed from the testing protocol for 90 days following their positive test. After 90 days, the employee will be re-enrolled in the testing protocol and will receive email notifications as described above.
  • Employees will not have any financial obligations for any COVID-19 PCR test done at one of UK HealthCare’s designated testing locations, or at Wild Health, as a result of this testing protocol.
  • Employees who reside more than 50 miles from 800 Rose St., Lexington, KY, and obtain a COVID-19 PCR test from a facility that is not on the designated UKHC or ESH testing facility list should submit their reimbursement request to their department or unit business officer. The department will then submit a Payment Request Document (PRD) through its normal process in order to reimburse employees for the testing fee.*
    • Employees should include in this reimbursement request:
      • Itemized receipt showing proof of payment
      • Completed and signed Employee Expense Reimbursement Form
    • Department instructions for completing the Payment Request Document in SAP:
      • Charge COVID-19 cost center 1054222600 and General Ledger Code 530110
      • Remember to complete the Assignment Number field on the PRD with reference “COVID-19”

*Reimbursement is provided for PCR test cost only. No travel or non-PCR testing time or expenses will be reimbursed.

  • Employee Health or others, including managers and supervisors, may contact an employee about their testing and/or vaccination status, including the advisability of booster immunizations.
  • Please send any other questions regarding this process to vaccinequestions@uky.edu.