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COVID-19 cases on the rise as students head back to school

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Dec 28, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Kentucky just as students prepare to return to school from Christmas break.

Governor Beshear expressed concern on Monday, suggesting that schools mandate masks and set up a testing option.

"Parents, we need you to get your kids tested right before they go back to school," said Gov. Beshear.

More children are contracting the virus as the omicron variant spreads according to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Fayette County last week saw the highest daily average since September.

"There have been so many people that have traveled, and they're going back into a school setting where you just don't know where everyone else has been and what they've been doing," said Fayette County Public School (FCPS) parent Frank Smith.

Smith is thankful his girls just had their booster shots but has mixed emotions about their in-person return.

"I want them to be in school, but if our school district decides that we need to sit out for a little while, that's just the way it's going to be," said Smith.

FCPS partnered with Wild Health to offer testing and vaccines for faculty and staff. They also mandated mask usage since the school year began.

But for Madison County Public Schools, where Amy Bingham sends her kids, masking is optional.

"I feel like it should be left up to the schools. I mean, they see the kids, they know what they're going through every day. I would hate to say it should be required," she explained.

Despite what health leaders think may come, Bingham's not concerned.

"At least no more concern than I do anyway. I mean, it is a little scary. I can't say, 'oh, I don't worry about it, because you do.' It's always in the back of your head. You hope that your kids don't get sick, you know? But I feel like it's no different than it was yesterday," said Bingham.

So far, most schools are sticking with plans they had in place to return in person in 2022.

Jessamine County had a mask requirement in place when they left for Winter break. They are continuing to monitor their local health department data over the break. Their test-to-stay program is also in place.

We are still waiting to hear back from other districts on their plans. Most are still out of office.