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Gov. Beshear says Kentucky schools should require masks for all students, adults in

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Amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the delta variant, Gov. Andy Beshear unveiled a new set of COVID-19 recommendations for school districts, including universal mask usage in classrooms.All-in-all, the unchanging message continues to be: get vaccinated if you haven’t. Last week, Beshear said more than 95% of the state’s new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people.The governor returned to the podium Monday for another COVID-19 briefing in which he said the state’s positivity rate has been increasing for 30 straight days. He previously said at one point, the state’s positivity rate had dipped below 1% but now it is approaching 8%.Much of the concern over the delta variant has been regarding the approaching new school year. Health officials are stressing the importance of vaccinations — or returning to mitigation measures — because of the children who cannot receive COVID-19 shots right now.In some school districts, officials are seeing either teachers or staff who are not vaccinated or parents and family members who have not received their shots. Many counties are also below the vaccination threshold.Health Commission Dr. Steven Stack said the viral load of the Delta variant is 1,000 times greater than previous variants, making it the most transmissible yet.”Two and half times more transmissible between people and one and a half times or so higher reinfection risk. All of those who think you have natural immunity, you don’t,” Stack said.Because of the concerns, Beshear unveiled three new recommendations for K-12 schools. He said the guidance was developed with the help of the Kentucky Department of Education and the CDC, which recently released its own set of guidelines for schools.The first recommendation for Kentucky schools is to require all unvaccinated students and adults to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings.The second recommendation is for school districts to require all students under 12 years of age to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings.And the third is for school districts to consider universal mask usage — requiring vaccinated and unvaccinated students and adults — in the classroom and other indoor school settings.Beshear said universal mask usage should be considered for schools wanting to “optimize safety” and to minimize the risk of education and athletic disruptions.”How we make decisions has to come from one simple place: What gives us the best chance to have our kids in school the maximum number of days in the midst of a pandemic? That is our North Star,” Beshear said.Right now, more than 2.2 million Kentuckians have received at least their first COVID-19 shot. The governor said he’s hoping the state can continue to make progress in getting more of its residents vaccinated, including highlighting some of the incentives.State health officials say this latest surge was completely avoidable and part of the blame lies with those spreading disinformation about the safety of the vaccine.”Those persons pedaling in that falsehood are killing people and it is a tragedy. These vaccines work. They are safe. We’ve deployed them on 1.4 billion or more humans on the planet earth,” Stack said.

Amid ongoing concerns over the spread of the delta variant, Gov. Andy Beshear unveiled a new set of COVID-19 recommendations for school districts, including universal mask usage in classrooms.

All-in-all, the unchanging message continues to be: get vaccinated if you haven’t. Last week, Beshear said more than 95% of the state’s new COVID-19 cases are among unvaccinated people.

The governor returned to the podium Monday for another COVID-19 briefing in which he said the state’s positivity rate has been increasing for 30 straight days. He previously said at one point, the state’s positivity rate had dipped below 1% but now it is approaching 8%.

Much of the concern over the delta variant has been regarding the approaching new school year. Health officials are stressing the importance of vaccinations — or returning to mitigation measures — because of the children who cannot receive COVID-19 shots right now.

In some school districts, officials are seeing either teachers or staff who are not vaccinated or parents and family members who have not received their shots. Many counties are also below the vaccination threshold.

Health Commission Dr. Steven Stack said the viral load of the Delta variant is 1,000 times greater than previous variants, making it the most transmissible yet.

“Two and half times more transmissible between people and one and a half times or so higher reinfection risk. All of those who think you have natural immunity, you don’t,” Stack said.

Because of the concerns, Beshear unveiled three new recommendations for K-12 schools. He said the guidance was developed with the help of the Kentucky Department of Education and the CDC, which recently released its own set of guidelines for schools.

  • The first recommendation for Kentucky schools is to require all unvaccinated students and adults to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings.
  • The second recommendation is for school districts to require all students under 12 years of age to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings.
  • And the third is for school districts to consider universal mask usage — requiring vaccinated and unvaccinated students and adults — in the classroom and other indoor school settings.

Beshear said universal mask usage should be considered for schools wanting to…



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2021-07-27 03:30:00

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