(LEX 18) — The Kentucky Department for Public Health has released its guidance for K-12 schools for the 2021-2022 school year.
The guidance says schools should implement "layered prevention strategies" to protect people who are not vaccinated. It says school administrators and local health officials should select appropriate strategies in their communities.
The recommended strategies from the Kentucky Department for Public Health include:
- Vaccines: Promoting and offering vaccines to students (12 years of age or older), teachers, staff, and family members
- Masks: Recommending masks for those unvaccinated while indoors and requiring masks on public transportation
- Physical Distancing: Recommending physical distancing of at least 6 feet between students and teachers/staff, and between unvaccinated teachers/staff
- Screening Testing: Implement screening testing for unvaccinated students, teachers, and/or staff
- Ventilation: Improve facility ventilation to increase circulation of outdoor air and utilize outdoors spaces, where possible
- Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds
- Isolation: Ensure sick students, teachers, or staff to stay home if they have fever and/or symptoms of COVID-19
- Quarantine and Contact Tracing: Schools should help local health department to investigate COVID-19 cases and identify close contacts to self-quarantine
- Cleaning and Disinfection: Improve facility cleaning by cleaning once a day to sufficiently remove potential virus that may be on surfaces
***READ THE FULL GUIDANCE BELOW***
The guidance recommends full implementation of all layers of protection when community transmission levels are high.
"If any of the prevention strategies are removed for a school based on local conditions, they should be removed one at a time, and increases in COVID-19 cases should be closely monitored," the Kentucky Department of Public Health says. "Schools should communicate their strategies and changes in plans to the school community."