On Monday during his daily COVID-19 update, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear outlined new recommendations and requirements for Kentucky schools based on their county's current COVID-19 color on the state's Incidence Rate Map. (Green, Yellow, Orange, or Red).
"Today, I'm outlining our new public health guidance for Kentucky schools," said Gov. Beshear. "We are still finalizing the language, but we want to give everybody a head start in thinking through about how to make this work."
According to Gov. Beshear, as of Jan. 4, Kentucky counties currently in the state's COVID-19 Red Zone may return to in-person instruction on a hybrid schedule.
"The major change is when you hit red," he said. "In red, our recommendations are that you consider remote learning or you more aggressively implement that hybrid model - in other words, starting Jan. 4, there can be in-person instruction in red counties. But our recommendation is that it is done through a more aggressive hybrid model than would be used in Orange."
Although Gov. Beshear said schools would be allowed to operate in this manner, he also laid out several requirements that schools must meet to do so:
- Every school must provide a meaningful virtual option that can't negatively impact students' GPA, class rank, ability to take advanced placement classes, or any other educational opportunity or recognition.
- Schools must accommodate all educators who fall into a high-risk category with virtual options.
- Health at School guidelines will be mandatory starting on Jan. 4, 2021.
- KDPH recommends returning to in-person learning no sooner than Jan. 11, 2021.
- Continued daily reporting.
Though Gov. Beshear did announce the new modifications to school operations on Monday, he stated no changes would be made as to how each county's current COVID-19 color is calculated.
Currently, 118 of Kentucky's 120 counties are in the state's COVID-19 Red Zone. You can view the state's current COVID-19 Incidence Rate map here.
You can hear Gov. Beshear's Monday update on school guidance here.