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Schools, health departments working together to keep kids in classrooms amid COVID surge

Students are back in school after winter break, and districts across the region are teaming up with health departments to make sure every eligible student can...
Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 10:45 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Students are back in school after winter break, and districts across the region are teaming up with health departments to make sure every eligible student can get vaccinated, and eventually boosted.

“That’s keeping more of our kids in school, where we know they need to be. They learn better, they get fed, they have a warm place to stay throughout the day. We want to keep them in school and thriving,” said Cassie Prather, the public health director with the Woodford County Health Department.

While the goal is to keep students in school, doctors at UK Children’s Hospital are unfortunately seeing more kids with COVID.

“We are seeing, still seeing severe COVID infections in pediatric patients. Most of those are all unvaccinated. So either they’re too young to get the vaccine, or they’re eligible for the vaccine and have yet to get it. So our most severe cases in Kentucky Children’s Hospital is unvaccinated kids that have been eligible for it,” said Dr. Lindsay Ragsdale at UK Children’s Hospital.

Many districts, from Woodford County to Fayette County, are taking advantage of and expanding their test-to-stay programs.

“If you use test-to-stay, plus masks, then no kid should be missing school. Unless they actually have an infection and then they should miss school because we can’t afford to have them infecting other kids,” Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said.

According to guidelines on the FCPS website, students who are fully vaccinated, including their booster, do not have to test-to-stay if exposed. All other students do.

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