LOUISVILLE, Ky. — As Louisville families prepare for the start of the 2021-22 school year, Jefferson County Public Schools is launching free health clinics to help students get everything they need before August 11.
Students went to Iroquois High School Tuesday morning for free sports physicals and COVID-19 vaccinations. JCPS parent Ravelle Hall brought her son Christian, a rising sixth grader, to the clinic for a physical ahead of basketball season.
"It's very important," Hall said. "I like the fact that it was convenient and that I didn't have to go far to get it done, and this will allow him to play basketball this year."
Any child 12 and older can get a vaccine. JCPS previously announced any students or staff who are not vaccinated will be required to wear a mask while inside school property during summer programs.
The Academy of Pediatrics sent out new guidance asking everyone two years and older to wear masks at school, regardless of whether they've been vaccinated.
"AAP recommends universal masking because a significant portion of the student population is not yet eligible for vaccines, and masking is proven to reduce transmission of the virus and to protect those who are not vaccinated," the guidance says. "Many schools will not have a system to monitor vaccine status of students, teachers and staff, and some communities overall have low vaccination uptake where the virus may be circulating more prominently."
JCPS is expected to decide their guidelines for the upcoming school year at next week's board meeting.
"Last year was interesting to say the least," says Jennifer Brislin with JCPS Communication. "So for us to be able to have them back in the classroom for five days a week for the first time in a year and a half its just exciting for all of us."
Even though her son does not meet the age requirement for the vaccine, Hall said she is okay with him continuing to wear a mask in school.
"Whether they've been vaccinated or not, you know going back to school and there are so many different people you know teachers and other children, i think it's still very important."
JCPS will host two more health clinics at Waggener from 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Western High from noon to 3 p.m. Thursday.