Coronavirus Updates

Kentucky sets up a color-coded map for schools

Kentucky

Dr. Steven Stack, Commissioner for the Kentucky Department for Public Health

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentucky Commissioner for the Department for Public Health Dr. Steven Stack shared an update on how schools will be reporting COVID-19 data.

This afternoon, Stack and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman filed an emergency regulation addressing K-12 COVID-19 reporting requirements. Under the new regulation parents and guardians are required to report to the child’s school within 24 hours if their child tests positive for COVID-19.

Using a secure website, Stack says all schools must report data related to COVID-19 every day school is in session. The Kentucky Department of Education will send the school instructions on how to register with the online portal and report this data. He says the dashboard link will be posted on the state’s coronavirus website on, or before, Monday, Sept. 28.

“Publicly reporting this data is a necessary tool to enable students, parents and communities to make informed decisions COVID-19 risk in collaboration with the education and public health communities,” Dr. Stack said.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health will continue publishing its K-12 public health reports, which are available on the kycovid19.ky.gov website.

Stack says superintendents have requested local control and asked for a metric to decide. The metric will have public health guidance attached the guidance will be in effect as long as the state’s positivity rate is less than 6% and the health care system has enough resources.

A color-coded map showing incidence rates will provide districts with corresponding guidance and be updated every Thursday for the following week, Stack said.

According to Stack, schools in areas listed as green and yellow will follow the KDE Healthy at Schools guidance. If a school is in an orange area on the map, Stack says they should take enhanced measures such as more aggressive crowd limits and consider various factors to determine the mode of instruction they should use.

“Let me be clear, that there is not going to be an overall recommendation coming from me or my office post Sept. 28,” Gov. Beshear said. “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.”

Stack says counties that reach red should suspend in-person instruction the following week and move to only remote learning. However, he says schools may still use small groups per KDE guidance for special circumstances.

“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,” Stack said.

Stack said the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has published and continues to update its guidance on COVID-19.

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