Schools to use new COVID-19 reporting tool

School districts in Kentucky will now be using a new reporting tool to track positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff, as well as students and staff that are quarantined.

The dashboard went public Monday, and moving forward, school districts across the state will use this as a piece of the decision-making process about when it is safe to have in-person instruction.

Also, new information about how schools can proceed with in-person instruction was released Monday. Below is a snippet from a release from the Lake Cumberland District Health Department.

Some new guidance came out today from the State Department for Public Health that will impact school re-opening plans. In short, the definition for a “contact” in a school room setting was clarified so that if the people in a school room where a positive COVID-19 case was present were properly distanced (6-feet) and consistently wearing face-coverings, they would not be considered “contacts”. However, if not properly distanced and/or not consistently wearing face-coverings, would be considered “contacts” and would have to quarantine. In summary, schools should ensure that students are appropriately distanced and consistently wearing a face-covering.

Also, on the 7-day incidence rate scale, a school that suspends in-person instruction due to the county reaching the “red-critical” range of community spread (25 or more new cases per day average per 100,000), can now return to in-person instruction after a week of non-in-person instruction if the county has moved to the “orange, yellow or green” level of community spread. Previously, the requirement was that schools should not re-open to in-person instruction until the county 7-day incidence rate dropped to the “yellow or green” level.

The dashboard can be accessed here.

It is recommended that the link be accessed through a desktop computer.

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Zac Oakes is the News Director and Digital Content Contributor for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.