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Gov. Beshear issues recommendations for upcoming school year

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 3:42 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Gov. Andy Beshear, along with health and education leaders, held a press conference in Frankfort on COVID-19 in the state.

Ultimately it will be up to districts to make the final decision, but the governor says school leaders need to take steps to keep students in the classroom for as many days as possible.

Here are the governor’s recommendations:

Here is the governor’s K-12 return to school guidance:

  • School districts should require all unvaccinated students and unvaccinated adults to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor settings
  • School districts should require all students under 12 years of age to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings
  • School districts wishing to optimize safety and minimize risk of educational and athletic disruption should require all students and all adults to wear a mask in the classroom and other indoor school settings

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This comes as vaccine rates for younger populations are the lowest of all age groups in the state, and because students younger than 12 can’t get vaccinated.

State officials say districts wishing to optimize safety and minimize disruptions to school or athletics should require all students and staff to wear a mask.

The governor says he believes there will be enough compliance with these requirements. But he’s not ruling out mandating them.

“I’ve said I’m going to have the courage to do what’s necessary depending on conditions on the ground. We think that we are going to see enough buy-in, and enough results to where that is not necessary because again, these are education institutions, and we now know the facts on this virus,” Gov. Beshear said.

The governor said without mitigation efforts like these recommendations, the delta variant will spread through unvaccinated classrooms and buildings forcing large and frequent quarantines.

Governor Beshear reported 783 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the state total to 476,650 cases. The governor says the state is seeing a 7.89% positivity rate. Of Monday’s new cases, 174 are in kids 18 or younger.

There were two new COVID-19 related deaths reported on Monday. That brings the state total to 7,319.

As of Monday, 486 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 related reasons, 159 are in the ICU, and 71 are on ventilators.

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