FRANKFORT, Ky. — The online system Kentucky will use to monitor cases of the coronavirus in schools is now up and running.
What You Need To Know
- Online system for monitoring COVID-19 cases in Kentucky schools is running
- Schools to be judged based on county's rate of infection
- Beshear warns Kentuckians about easing up on recommendations, restrictions
- Beshear calls Florida's reopening at full capacity "reckless and dumb"
The site launched Monday, the same day Gov. Andy Beshear recommended waiting until for in-person classes.
Despite a recent surge in cases, Beshear doesn’t plan to issue another recommendation. He said it’s up to school leaders to figure out how to deal with the virus.
“If you hit red, and you are continuing in-person classes, then no, I don’t have confidence because you are not following the guidance that’s out there,” Beshear said.
The schools will be judged on their county’s rate of infection: If a county has more than 25 cases per 100,000 people, the state’s a “Red” zone. According to guidance issued earlier this month, Kentucky recommends schools move to virtual learning until the case rate drops to below 10 cases per 100,000 people in the county.
The guidance only applies if Kentucky's positivity rate stays below six percent. Over the last seven days, the Kentucky Department for Public Health reports a positivity rate of 4.41 percent.
Kentucky reported Monday 1,123 total cases of the coronavirus among students in K-12 schools and 397 cases among faculty and staff. There are 731 active student cases while 337 cases among faculty and staff are considered active.
Kentucky reported 4,949 cases of the coronavirus last week, a record for a single week according to Beshear.
He warned about Kentuckians easing back on recommendations and restrictions issued to slow the spread of the virus.
“When we get casual, when we don’t show urgency, what we see is alarming trends in the virus, more cases, and ultimately more people passing away,” Beshear said.
Despite this, Beshear pushed back against the question of whether or not he needs to put tighter restrictions in place.
“You could have great sets of rules and regulations, and if nobody follows them, it’s not effective,” Beshear said. “Likewise, if you don’t have good enough rules, even if a bunch of people are following what you have out there, it’s not effective. Right now, we’re not seeing enough people follow what’s already there.”
He also doesn’t plan on easing restrictions like Florida did recently, removing the mask mandate and allowing businesses to operate at full capacity.
“What Florida’s doing is reckless and it’s dumb,” Beshear said. “That’s the best word I can give for it.”
Kentucky currently allows bars and restaurants to operate at 50 percent indoor capacity with a curfew for serving customers at 11 p.m.
Beshear said he doesn’t envision a scenario where Kentucky returns to normal until a vaccine is ready and available.