Gov. Andy Beshear announced a new executive order which will expand in-person instruction for schools across the commonwealth Tuesday during his daily press conference.
The order recommends all public-school districts offer or expand in-person instructional opportunities beginning March 1, or seven days after district personnel receive their second COVID-19 vaccination.
Students, faculty and staff will still be required to wear face coverings on school grounds and inside district transportation.
“This is one of the ways that we can keep everybody in that school safe,” said Beshear. “It’s going to be incredibly important, especially for districts that may go back for the first time, that this is strictly enforced.”
During his announcement, Beshear said schools will need to evaluate ventilation systems and consider ways to reduce density in classrooms, halls, school buses and other areas.
“While we believe we can have a safe resumption of in-person learning, in our larger school districts it is a challenge that requires what is already happening; a lot of communication,” Gov. Beshear said. “… But I believe, with what we now know, … that specific plans can be achieved where everybody can ultimately feel as comfortable as we can in the midst of COVID.”
Schools will still provide virtual learning options for students who choose to not attend in-person classes.
“As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, there is no replacement for in-person instruction,” said Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass. “We respect Gov. Beshear’s authority in issuing this executive order and look forward to working alongside our districts as they work their way back to a new normal.”
The Whitley County Health Department announced 13 additional COVID–19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 3,306.
There are currently 82 active cases, of which five are hospitalized.
With the new cases, Whitley County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 30.3.
The Laurel County Health Department had not posted the COVID-19 numbers for the county as of 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The state reported Laurel County COVID–19 incidence rate as 49.3.
Laurel County has the second highest COVID-19 incidence rate in the state. Its rate is exceeded only by Caldwell County which has an incidence rate of 53.8.
The Knox County Kentucky Health Department announced 32 additional cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the county’s total to 3,087.
Six of the new cases involved children, officials stated.
There are currently 85 active cases in Knox County.
With the additional cases, Knox County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 33.0.
The Bell County Health Department announced 12 additional COVID–19 cases, bringing the county’s total to 2,720.
There are currently 111 active cases, of which 15 are hospitalized.
With the additional cases, Bell County’s COVID–19 incidence rate stands at 38.4.
Gov. Andy Beshear announced 1,497 additional COVID–19 cases in Kentucky on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 399,013
Beshear reported 16 additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 4,476.
Beshear said 894 Kentuckians are currently hospitalized, of which 242 are in intensive care.
As of Tuesday, 37 of Kentucky’s 120 counties have a COVID–19 incidence rate greater than 25, which places them in the red zone.
Sixty-eight counties are orange zones.
Fifteen counties are yellow zones.
Morgan County has the lowest incidence rate at 3.2.