Governor Beshear announces local school district will make future decisions on how students attend classes
Gov. Andy Beshear announced Monday that local school districts would be making decisions on how students attend classes without additional recommendations from his office.
However, under an emergency regulation filed Monday, parents and guardians must inform schools when their children test positive for COVID-19, and the individual K-12 schools will be required to report the number of students, faculty and staff members who have tested positive for COVID–19 on a daily basis, Monday through Friday.
Dr. Robert Stack, Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health, announced that the data would be made available on the state’s COVID–19 website.
It will be able to be broken down by statewide, by county, by district, or by school.
Based on the data, each county will be color coded on a map with green, yellow, orange or red based on the number.
That color will provide a recommendation as to whether schools in the county should have students attending in-person, or move to virtual only.
“We will be able to see trends,” Stack said noting the data will be able to be viewed on a 24 or 72-hour, 14, day, or historical basis.
Stack said the validity of the data will rely on parents and school officials to provide accurate information.
“We hope this will provide real-time information for all to work together to provide safe schools,” Stack said.
Stack said when a county reaches orange, it is a sign it is headed for trouble and should take steps.
“If you hit red, suspend in-person instruction and go to virtual only,” Stack said noting districts are advised to wait until the color returns to yellow before returning to in-person.
“We don’t want to keep you out longer than we have to,” Stack said noting a bump into orange could be a one-day event, or a sign of a trend.
Corbin Independent, Whitley County, and Williamsburg Independent are scheduled to resume the in-person class option on Sept. 28.
Beshear had made the recommendation on Aug. 10, emphasizing the health and safety of students, faculty and staff as his primary concern.
Beshear said one of the reasons for the delay was to give the department for public health time to get this system finalized and in place so that local school systems and parents have the information to make an informed decision.