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Kentucky officials unveil back-to-school COVID-19 monitoring plan

The online dashboard will provide real-time, accurate and active school case count information for parents and others in the community.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — As some in-person classes have resume and others preparing to go back, Kentucky is launching a new tool to help keep parents informed.  

The online dashboard will provide real-time, accurate and active school case count information for parents and others in the community.

Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said schools will report data for the last 24 and 72 hours, along with numbers for a two-week period.

“This will help give you some sense for how many active COVID patients are at the school and how many people the total burden of quarantine that impacts the school at that time,” he said.

Stack said the guidance is in effect for as long as the state’s positivity rate is less than 6% and the health care system has enough resources.

Officials introduced a color-coded map showing incidence rates that will provide each school district with guidance.

Those maps are expected to be updated every Thursday evening to help guide schools for the following week.

Here’s a breakdown on how the map will work:

Counties in green and yellow: will follow Healthy at Schools guidance.

Counties in orange: should follow enhanced measures which include more aggressive crowd limits and also consider a variety of factors to determine if the will hold in-person or virtual classes.

Counties in red: In-person instruction should be suspended the following week and virtual learning should occur. State officials said schools can still use small groups per Department of Education guidance for special circumstances.

Gov. Andy Beshear said there will not be another recommendation from him or his office post Sept. 28.

“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,” he said.

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.”

The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has also published updated guidance on COVID-19. The Kentucky Department of Public Health continues to work KHSAA officials.

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