Governor Beshear announces new executive order for school recommendations, gives COVID-19 update
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear not only gave Tuesday’s COVID-19 report but also discussed new guidance for Kentucky schools returning to in-person instruction.
You can watch that briefing here:
The governor announced 1,497 new cases and 16 new deaths in Kentucky.
The governor said this is a couple of hundred cases higher than this time last week but he still believes we are generally moving in the right direction.
At least 399,013 Kentuckians have contracted the virus. The death toll is now at 4,476.
47,067 people have recovered from the virus.
4,426,973 Kentuckians have received tests.
The positivity rate fell to 6.30%, which is the lowest it has been since November 4th.
The governor also gave an update on vaccines. He said that Kentucky is getting another increase in our weekly amount of vaccine doses. As of now, we will be getting around 10,000 additional cases in Kentucky.
He also said that we are approaching 600,000 Kentuckians that have received their first dose of the vaccine, with more than 594,000 who have been vaccinated.
The challenge that Kentucky is still facing is with the delayed shipments. Gov. Beshear said that sometimes due to the delay in shipments, providers only have a one-day notice before their shipment arrives.
He also mentioned that starting March 1st, those in phase 1C will be able to get vaccinated.
“Remember, there’s a lot of people in 1C, so it’s going to feel like it’s really hard to get an appointment in the beginning,” said Gov. Beshear. “But our supply is increasing and we will get to you. Hang in there.”
The governor also gave an update on K-12 schools in Kentucky.
He issued a new executive order that recommends all school districts, including private schools, offer or expand some form of in-person instruction beginning March 1st or 7 days after their district personnel have received the second vaccine.
He said this step is recognizing the action Kentucky is taking in vaccinating our school personnel.
“What we foresaw is that the safest way to expand in-person opportunities is to vaccinate all of our school personnel,” said Gov. Beshear. “Since then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others have moved that way and other states have followed our lead.”
He also addressed the guidelines that schools will need to take when returning to in-person instruction. This includes wearing face masks, reducing capacity in shared areas, evaluating the schools’ ventilation systems, regularly reviewing the incident rate, and having meaningful virtual options for students who want them and not discriminating on what classes they can take virtually.
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman also spoke on the new school guidelines. She said that their goal has been to keep students and teachers safe, and that is why they have been continually evolving the considerations on instruction.
“Kentucky continues to be a national leader in vaccinating our school staff, and getting our kids back in the classroom safely remains a top priority for every Kentuckian – from the Governor to our littlest learners,” said Lt. Gov. Coleman. “With this guidance, we hope to make the transition back to in-person learning as smooth and safe as possible.”
A 136-page manual has been sent to every school district and presents the most up-to-date guidance for teaching in-person.
This includes guidance on non-athletic travel and administering state testing, for KDE is still preparing for state assessments.
As of Monday, 34 out of 120 counties are in the red zone on the state’s COVID-19 incidence rate map.
You can see how your county is doing right now here.
If you have any questions about the coronavirus in Kentucky, call the state’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-800-722-5725.
You can also find more information, including how to protect your family, by visiting Kentucky’s official COVID-19 website: https://govstatus.egov.com/kycovid19
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