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Interactive | Updated guidance for in-person classes in Kentucky

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:15 AM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky state officials have given a number of updates on the education situation in the commonwealth amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This afternoon, we filed an emergency regulation addressing K-12 COVID-19 reporting requirements pursuant to existing statutes,” Dr. Stack said.

Under the new regulation, no later than Monday, Sept. 28, all parents and guardians are required to report to the child’s school within 24 hours if their child tests positive for COVID-19, and all schools must report via a secure website, Monday through Friday, every day school is in session, data related to the coronavirus.

He said the Kentucky Department of Education is sending instructions to schools on how to register with the online portal and report this data.

“Using this data, KDPH will publish an online dashboard,” Dr. Stack said. "The dashboard link will be posted on or before Monday, Sept. 28, on the kycovid19.ky.gov website. Publicly reporting this data is a necessary tool to enable students, parents and communities to make informed decisions COVID-19 risk in collaboration with the education and public health communities,” Dr. Stack said.

In addition to reporting protocols, Dr. Stack provided updated guidance for schools on a variety of instructional modes.

“Superintendents have requested local control. They have asked us to give them a metric to decide,” Dr. Stack said. “This tool provides the metric and public health guidance attached to it.”

He said the guidance is in effect as long as the state’s positivity rate is less than 6% and the health care system has enough resources. A color-coded map showing incidence rates will provide districts with corresponding guidance. It will be updated every Thursday evening to guide schools for the following week.

Schools in green and yellow areas essentially follow KDE Healthy at Schools guidance. Schools in an orange zone should take enhanced measures, including more aggressive crowd limits, and should consider a variety of factors to determine what mode of instruction they should use.

If a county reaches red, then both in-person instruction should be suspended the following week and only remote learning should occur; schools may still use small groups per KDE guidance for special circumstances.

“Let me be clear, that there is not going to be an overall recommendation coming from me or my office post-Sept. 28,” Gov. Beshear said. “What’s going to be provided is the information to make a week-by-week decision in our various school districts and counties based on prevalence and what public health experts believe is the right course based on that prevalence.”

Dr. Stack added: “Once a county reaches red, it should return to yellow before resuming in-person instruction to allow for disease activity to return to a safer level and to increase the probability of successfully staying open for in-person instruction upon reopening.”

In addition, Dr. Stack said the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has published and continues to update its guidance on COVID-19. He said the KDPH is collaborating with officials.

Copyright 2020 WKYT. All rights reserved.

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