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Lee County Schools closes for three days after students, staff test positive for COVID-19

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 11:36 AM EDT
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LEE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Lee County schools are closing their doors.

It hasn’t even been a whole week since back-to-school in Lee County, and multiple students and staff are already having to quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19.

Now, for three days, all school buildings will remain empty.

Lee County Judge-Executive Chuck Caudill says the three days will allow for enough time to get tests results back. He says they’re acting with of caution, but are not dragging their feet either.

Caudill says, as of Friday, Lee is the only county in this part of eastern Kentucky still in the orange zone. He fully expected, based on current reports from the health department, that the county will soon move into the red zone.

The school’s decision, according to Caudill, was not political.

“I think people have a right to be concerned, and I know people are concerned about the imposition on their freedoms, that people are concerned about their health, and all these are valid concerns,” said Caudill. “Fear is something that’s personal. But, I can tell you ,from the Lee County perspective, from my perspective, the school is operating with a preponderance of caution.”

This is all as more younger people are getting sick, according to Scott Lockard with the Kentucky River District Health Department. He says they’re giving out COVID-19 tests. and will respond once they have a handle on the total number of positives.

Lockard says the virus is preventable.

“If people want to stay in school, if people want to go to concerts, if they want to get back to life as close to normal as they can, they need to get vaccinated,” Lockard said.

The judge-executive says, right now, the county’s vaccination rate is in the mid 30s. Which is on the lower end for counties in the state, but he says he’s encouraging the community to get the shot.

The Lee County Health Center is providing free rapid COVID-19 tests Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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