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Berea Independent Schools delay the start of school because of COVID cases among staff

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 19:13:56-04

BEREA, Ky. (LEX 18) — Today was scheduled to be the first day of school for Berea Independent's school district, but an uptick in COVID cases among teachers and staff led district leaders to delay school's start until Monday.

Superintendent Dr. Diane Hatchett says "So it's there, the numbers are growing, and we have some people that are still self-monitoring, and so we figured, better to be proactive and safe than to do a dance of we start school and then we have to stop."

Dr. Hatchett says that 14 teachers tested positive, and the district has a limited number of substitutes. With this being the first year that all students are back in the building since 2020, she wanted to make sure all teachers and administrators were there for the students.

"The expectations, routines, procedures all begin the first days of school. We have schedule changes, we have new students enrolling, and there's nothing like having your classroom teacher, your administrators all right there with you," says Dr. Hatchett.

Madison County's Health Department shows that the county is still in the yellow for COVID-19 school district leaders here at Berea Independent say they will continue to follow CDC and health department guidelines throughout the school year.

Dr. Hatchett says, "We're just trying to make sure that we follow, you know, protocols."

Madison County's community is still in the yellow with COVID cases. The health department recommends staying up to date on vaccines, using masks indoors, staying home when sick, and following isolation and quarantine guidance. With the district's elementary, middle, and high schools all sharing one building, leaders say safety is a top priority.

"At the end of the day, safety matters, health matters, and our students matter. They are the most important. They are our most precious resource. They're why we're here. They're why we do what we do," says Dr. Hatchett.