COVID-19 concerns increase as students return to school

Students at the Berea Independent Schools would have been going back to school Thursday. Now they’ll wait until Monday.
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 10:28 PM EDT
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BEREA, Ky. (WKYT) - Students at the Berea Independent Schools would have been going back to school Thursday. Now they’ll wait until Monday.

Superintendent Dr. Diane Hatchett said they want to start the school year off on the right foot, and if that means needing to wait an extra five days, then that’s what they’ll do.

“I mean everybody matters, but especially the first days of school. They’re key. They’re key for student success,” Dr. Hatchett said.

A letter went out to parents Tuesday, letting them know after a recent rise in COVID cases across the district, several teachers and administrators would be out the first few days of school. So they decided to move the start date to Monday, August 22.

“The first day is not like any other day. You’ve still got some people coming for the first time who have never been there. You’re trying to get schedules straight. Trying to make changes where needed. Trying to get people in the right spots. usually you need every single person on board that you can get.”

Dr. Hatchett said that just wasn’t going to be feasible as even more people tested positive Wednesday.

“By waiting until Monday, even people who tested today, should be able to return. We feel like everybody can come out then. And it’s just a win win for kids. At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters is doing the best for the kids. Every decision.”

Students will make up the missed days later in November, when teachers would have had work days.

“We are super pumped about this year because to us, this is a reset year. This is the first time we will have all of our kids back in the building. Last year, they had options. We had some kids who were virtual and some who were in person. This year everyone’s in person.” Dr. Hatchett said.

Physician Dr. Jeff Foxx said parents should anticipate the possibility of their kids getting sick as we head back to the classroom after a few months away.

“Even more so when you go back to school social distancing won’t be as much. Mask wearing won’t be consistent. So it’s much easier in that environment to transmit diseases,” Dr. Foxx.

Which is anything from Strep Throat and the flu, to of course COVID. Which is why Dr. Foxx said it’s important to practice healthy behaviors at home, that become habits when they’re at school.

“The big things especially at school are covering when you cough, wash your hands, try to keep hands away from your nose and mouth, and if you’re sick, if you’re sick, stay home.”

Berea Independent Schools are following guidelines that state students and employees can return to school five days after testing positive, if they no longer have symptoms.

They do have to wear a mask for days six-ten.

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