Five test positive for COVID-19 at Fayette County Public Schools after return to in-person learning

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 18:18:02-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After only four days back in the classroom for students in grades K-2, students and staff in at least two classrooms will now quarantine after positive COVID-19 cases.

The school district tells LEX 18 that four students and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19 since returning to in-person learning.

The impacted schools are Liberty, Glendover, Cardinal Valley, Brenda Cowan, and Rosa Parks Elementary.

Two classrooms will now quarantine as well as three additional staff members and one additional student. In total, there are 55 students and 6 employees quarantined, including one bus driver.

Quarantined students will go back to virtual learning. The quarantine period is 10 days.

FCPS parents are being notified about their child's quarantine by telephone. One Fayette County mother shared the voicemail she received Thursday morning with LEX 18:

This is Renee calling from the Fayette County Public Schools COVID-19 hotline. And I was calling in regards of your child... There has been a child in his classroom to test positive for COVID-19. And that was yesterday. And so, the quarantine period will be Feb. 23 to March the 5th for your child only. There has been a child in his classroom to test positive yesterday for COVID-19. And he, he will have to go into quarantine. Just your child. If you have any questions you call us back at 381-3277. Thank you.

When the mother called to ask questions, she learned the hotline staff could not answer them and was directed to someone with the district. The district told her she did not need to pick her son up, her son's entire class was being quarantined, and that they were not sure if her son had or had not been in contact with the individual who had the positive COVID-19 test.

The mother was also told the other students on the bus he rode to school with Thursday morning would not be quarantined and that her son should take the bus back home at the end of the school day.

According to a principal who spoke with LEX 18, administrators have been told throughout the district that contact tracing begins with students or teachers who have been within six feet or less of the person who tested positive for 15 minutes or more, with or without a mask.

William Wells Brown Elementary Principal Ebony Hutchinson said as of Thursday morning no one in their school building had tested positive or was in quarantine.

She explained their rigorous contact tracing procedures,

"We have assigned seating, and everywhere they go they have a line order that they stay in all day," she said of the school's contact tracing procedures. "And whenever they're in line, seating chart and cafeteria and their classroom and specials, so we know where they are at all times. So, if for some reason, a case comes up and we have to contact trace all of these documents are in our, you know, personal drive and so we can be able to, you know, track down where that's coming from."