Most Kentucky schools ready for return to in-person learning, governor says

Gov. Beshear provides Monday update on COVID-19 in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (FOX19) - New data produced by the Kentucky Department for Public Health shows school districts around the commonwealth are ready to return to some form of in-person learning, whether a full in-person schedule or a hybrid approach, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

The data represents a seven-day average of newly reported COVID-19 cases per day per 100,000 people.

A map of the data shows the incidence of COVID-19 in every Kentucky county and assigns each county one of four color-coded statuses:

  • Green, or “on track” with fewer than one new daily case per 100,000 people;
  • Yellow, or “community spread” with fewer than 10 new daily cases per 100,000 people;
  • Orange, or “accelerated spread” with fewer than 25 new daily cases per 100,000 people; and
  • Red, or “critical spread" with more than 25 new daily case per 100,000 people.
COVID-19 current incidence rate in Kentucky
COVID-19 current incidence rate in Kentucky (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

Every Kentucky county in Greater Cincinnati is either yellow or green. A total of six counties in the commonwealth are red.

Speaking of a return to in-person classes in Kentucky, Beshear referenced the map, saying districts in green counties can move forward with in-person classes and those in red counties should continue virtual learning. Districts in orange and yellow counties could adopt hybrid models.

“The majority of districts are ready,” Beshear said, “but some districts have extra challenges.”

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Just prior to the start of the school year, Beshear recommended districts around the state postpone all in-person classes until Sept. 28 following a midsummer virus surge.

Monday, using the map as a visual aid, Beshear indicated further decisions on reopening schools to in-person learning would be made on a county-by-county basis.

Likewise, the map (and its underlying data) will be used to determine the extent of indoor visitation in long-term care facilities around the state.

New as of Monday, according to Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander, so long as no new cases have been confirmed in a LTC facility for two weeks, visitation can be expanded to more than end-of-life visits.

He said restrictions on physical touching and communal dining will be eased, while robust testing of staffers, providers and vendors will continue.

Also Monday, Beshear said his administration had applied for a 3-week extension of the $400/week federal unemployment benefits for which the state initially applied last month. The extension will cover the weeks of Aug. 22, Aug. 29 and Sept. 5. Each week will be paid separately.

On rumors of

If needed, the Guard and the Kentucky State Police would engage in limited, specific missions, where they would be under their own command that would be in support of LMPD. >

Kentucky reported 406 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and one new virus-related death.

The state’s positivity rate is at 3.77 percent, something the governor described as “a real positive" after the rate peaked above 6 percent in July and August.

“Last week, we had our second-highest number of cases by week,” the governor said. “We really want to see this overall number of cases come down. Our positivity rate is going down, which is great news. But those overall numbers are too high. We’ve got to do what it takes to have fewer new weekly cases.”

Kentuckys positivity rate by week
Kentuckys positivity rate by week (Source: Kentucky Department of Public Health)

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