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New Metric Guidance for School Districts
Jessica Wilcoxson
Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Dear TC Students and Families,

I wanted to update you all on the most recent guidance from the Governor and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

The Governor announced Monday that his office will not make another recommendation to school districts after September 28th about holding in-person or virtual classes, instead, a new metric will be used to assist with these decisions.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) has created a four-color metric to guide school districts and administration in deciding whether to offer in person, virtual or hybrid instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The metric provides school districts with the data needed for decision-making at the local district level. As long as the state’s positivity rate stands at less than 6%, the metric will be used to give guidance for local decision-making on instruction and athletics. The state positivity rate and a map of incidence by county can be found at www.kycovid19.ky.gov. Decisions on school instruction and activity for each coming week should be based on the color level at 8 p.m. ET each Thursday.

The color-coded system recommends specific mitigation measures based on levels of disease transmission. The four levels are:

Green, with fewer than one case per 100,000 county residents, means schools can hold either in-person or remote classes as long as schools are following the Healthy at School guidance. Gov. Beshear’s guidance on group gatherings and other standard precautions still must be followed. Sports may resume if Kentucky High School Athletic Association (KHSAA) guidelines are followed.

Yellow, with 9.9 or fewer cases per 100,000 people, also allows in-person or remote learning and sports, but with heightened mitigation steps as coordinated by local officials, school administrators and public health leaders.

Orange, with 24.9 or fewer cases per 100,000, means schools should take into account a variety of factors to determine if they should move to remote learning exclusively. Sports still would be allowed, but there must be strict adherence to health guidelines. Small groups of students may be allowed into schools for targeted services.

Red, for more than 25 cases per 100,000, means schools should move the following week to all-virtual instruction. Sports and all extracurricular activities must be suspended. Only essential staff should regularly be in school buildings, still adhering to Healthy at School guidance. Essential student support services, such as providing meals, should continue. Small groups of students can be allowed in schools for targeted services. All these measures should remain in effect until the community returns to yellow status at a future Thursday decision point.

School Districts will operate based on the color of their county as indicated on the state map. Link to map: https://govstatus.egov.com/kyc...

New Emergency Regulation Issued

A new emergency administrative regulation from DPH, signed by Gov. Beshear, requires those responsible for students – parents, guardians, or other caregivers – to notify their child’s schools within 24 hours if a student tests positive for COVID-19. Schools are then required to notify DPH each school day of the number of students and school personnel who test positive for COVID-19. The results that school districts report will be posted to an online dashboard, which can be filtered by county, district, or specific school. Those reports will include the number of positive cases reported and number quarantined due to possible exposure among both students and school personnel. Schools also will be required to provide detailed information on any positive student cases to the local health department to enable contact tracing. The data made public on the daily report dashboard will not disclose the identity of students or school personnel. Health departments will need names and contact information, but that will be collected through private, in-person discussion between health officials and schools. The public dashboard can be accessed at www.kycovid19.ky.gov.

The COVID-19 Mode of Instruction Metrics for K-12 Education can be viewed here: https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/d...

Please let us know what questions or concerns you may have as it relates to the new metric guidance. This tiered response approach will enable school districts to make decisions that are more directly aligned with their community and county data. Thank you for your continued support! #weareTC