LOUISVILLE, Ky. — During the first week of classes, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) has already sent hundreds of students home due to quarantine rules.

What You Need To Know

  • More than 1,500 students and staff across Jefferson County Public Schools are in quarantine for COVID-19 exposur

  • 318 students and 59 staff members have tested positive since the start of the school year last week

  • At least two football games have been canceled this weekend

  • District officials aren't actively considering closing any individual schools

Over 1,500 JCPS students and staff are in quarantine, according to data published by the district on Thursday. That number includes 318 students and 59 staff who tested positive.

“We have several cases of COVID. That’s what we would expect to see with the incidence rate across the city,” said JCPS Health Manager Eva Stone, who runs the district’s COVID response.

She said the district is ramping up testing so it’ll be available once a week at every school in the district. JCPS also plans to hold more vaccination drives as the year progresses.  

“Our goal with COVID is to keep COVID out of schools and to keep kids in schools, so vaccination is a really powerful tool to help do that,” Stone said.

At least two football games have been postponed or canceled due to COVID exposure this weekend, but out of the more than 91,000 students across the district in classes already, only about 1.65% are in quarantine.

Not all kids in the district can be vaccinated, but those who are can avoid quarantine if they’re in close contact with someone who tests positive.

“Most of the concerns that we’ve heard have been parents frustrated that their child needs to quarantine,” Stone said. “And so again, we don’t want anybody to have to quarantine, so we’ll continue to work on implementing those measures to keep the distance as much as we can.”

And Stone said it’s too early to talk about closing entire schools, like other districts in the state have had to do.

“What we are looking at, and we are doing it at a regular basis, is looking at our processes. That’s where we would start before we would start looking at closing classrooms or closing anything else is what are we doing to prevent the spread of COVID?” Stone said. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything from the school end, from the district end, before we would look at situations where we would consider closure.”