UPDATE: Despite additional COVID–19 cases being reported on Thursday, the incidence rate has remained below the number that would have prevented schools across Whitley County from resuming in-person classes on Monday.
With the 10 new cases reported on Thursday, the incidence rate in Whitley County is 24.4 cases per 100,000 population.
The cutoff point was a rate of 25.1 according to officials with the Whitley County Health Department.
The number is based on an average of the number of new cases over the previous seven days..
In–person classes will occur next week, with the numbers each Thursday used to determine whether they will continue the following week.
Eight p.m. each Thursday is the deadline to determine whether schools across Whitley County and the state will resume in-person classes on Monday under the state’s new color-coded COVID–19 guidelines.
Whitley County Health Department Director Marcy Rein said a seven-day rolling average is used to determine the number based on each county’s population.
Under the new system, which Gov. Andy Beshear announced when he said he would not be making any more recommendations on whether school systems across the state should resume in-person classes.
Corbin Independent, Whitley County, and Williamsburg Independent had previously announced their intentions to resume in-person classes on Sept. 28.
However, two spikes in the number of new COVID–19 cases on Monday and Wednesday had pushed Whitley County to the brink of red, which would have forced the school systems to continue with virtual classes.
Under the state system, Rein explained that when a county reaches red, meaning 25.1 new cases of COVID–19 per 100,000 population the schools would be required to go to virtual learning until the level decreased sufficiently for the county to reach the yellow zone.
Yellow is defined at more than one up to 10 new COVID–19 cases per 100,000 of population.
The color on Thursday night will determine the manner of classes for the entire following week.
Rein said in addition to providing guidance for the local school district, it has served as an incentive for the public to adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines.
“People are already watching the map and paying attention to the colors,” Rein said.
The map and guidelines may be found online at www.kycovid19.ky.gov.