U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kentucky governor says schools should delay in-person classes until at least Sept. 28

Aug. 10, 2020
Gov. Andy Beshear says the state has too many cases of Covid-19 for students to return safely to classrooms.

Citing fresh concern over the Kentucky's Covid-19 positivity rate and case data, Gov. Andy Beshear says schools in the state should wait to resume in-person classes until Sept. 28.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Beshear, in announcing his recommendation, says "we do not have control of the virus."

"We all want to get our kids back in school," the governor says. "I desperately want to get my kids back in school, and I'm for getting our kids safely back to in-person classes, even during this pandemic. It's just, getting them at the height of the pandemic, I think, would be irresponsible."

Beshear noted that he was making a recommendation, not an order. He added that schools can start the year virtually whenever they deem best.

Various superintendents, including those who lead schools in places like Frankfort and Pikeville, tweeted in the minutes after Beshear's announcement that they would follow the governor's recommendation and have virtual learning until late September.

Last Friday, the Kentucky Education Association, which has 42,000 educators among its members, said public schools should resume in-person instruction only if the statewide and local Covid-19 positivity rates drop and remain below 4%.

Beshear said Monday that Kentucky's positivity rate — the rolling average of weekly tests that come back positive for Covid-19 — was at 5.71%.

Kentucky's 171 school districts have already adopted various reopening plans for the fall.

A Kentucky Department of Education official noted last week that 109 districts indicated in a recent survey they are reopening with a "blended" model in which students can enroll in either in-person or virtual instruction for the first semester or trimester.

Twenty-six districts indicated they will have only virtual learning to start the year, according to the survey. Those districts include the state's two largest school systems in Jefferson and Fayette counties.

And nine districts said they are using a "hybrid" or "A/B" model for classes each week that will involve students alternating between in-person and at-home learning.

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