FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The football teams of crosstown rivals Franklin County High School and Western Hills High School faced off Friday night, despite the district's decision to use NTI days beginning Monday to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Franklin County Schools announced it would use five Non-traditional Instruction days next week after about 90 students tested positive for the virus and about 600 students were required to quarantine.
"We've got to do something to push these numbers down," Superintendent Mark Kopp said.
But the district has decided to go ahead with sports, he said, because quarantines haven't been tied to sports practices and games in the way they've been tied to in-person classes.
"We're very hopeful with all the other mitigation strategies that we have in place that we can continue with sports," Kopp said. "These are kids that have been putting in the work since June, July and we're very hopeful of making that happen."
It's important to students to continue their ongoing sports seasons, said Franklin County High School Principal Chris Tracy.
"We're trying to do everything we can," he said as Friday night's football game began.
"We've asked people to come in and wear a mask tonight."
A vaccine clinic was also set up outside the entrance gate to the football game by the Franklin County Health Department.
"While people are coming to the game, let's get them a vaccine," said Brittany Parker, Deputy Director of the Franklin County Health Department.
More than a dozen people chose to get vaccinated, she said and received free admission to Franklin County High School football games for the remainder of the season.
The district has made difficult decisions, Kopp said, but he's hopeful they're taking the necessary steps to stop the spread and get students back to class safely.
"We can beat this thing. We all just have to come together to make it happen," he said.