FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 23, 2021) – On Tuesday, Gov. Andy Beshear announced he is issuing a new executive order that recommends all school districts, including private schools, offer or expand some form of in-person instructional opportunities beginning March 1.
If district personnel have not yet finished their vaccine series as of March 1, the executive order recommends some form of in-person instruction begin seven days after they have received their second vaccination.
“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.”
Lt. Gov. Coleman said the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) issued a comprehensive, 136-page manual, KDE COVID-19 Guidance 2.0, which will assist with the shift back into school buildings.
“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.”
Lt. Gov. Coleman said the manual advises schools on planning school-related student travel; administering spring state testing; operating schools after teachers and staff are vaccinated; assessing knowledge gaps caused by the pandemic’s impact on learning; and using second round Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funding.
As of 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23, Gov. Beshear reported the following COVID-19 numbers:
New cases today: 1,497
New deaths today: 16
Positivity rate: 6.3%
Total deaths: 4,476
Currently hospitalized: 894
Currently in ICU: 242
Currently on ventilator: 121
Top counties with the most positive cases today are: Jefferson, Fayette, Boone, Laurel and Kenton. Each county reported at least 60 new cases. Jefferson County reported 208.
To see a list of those reported lost to the virus today, click here.
The Governor said today’s positivity rate is the state’s lowest since Nov. 4.
He also reminded Kentuckians that regional vaccination sites will begin accepting Phase 1C appointments March 1.
“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.”
Flags Lowered in Honor of 500,000 Americans Lost to COVID-19
Yesterday, in accordance with a proclamation from the White House, Gov. Beshear directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff until sunset on Friday, Feb. 26, to commemorate the milestone of more than 500,000 American lives lost to COVID-19.
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.