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State offers guidance for K-12 schools, says students under 12 should wear masks in classrooms

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Posted at 4:38 PM, Jul 26, 2021

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The state is providing recommendations for school districts to follow as the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the 2021-2022 school year.

They include the following:

  • School districts should require all unvaccinated students and adults to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings.
  • School districts should require all students under 12 years of age to wear a mask when in classrooms and other indoor school settings.
  • School districts wishing to optimize safety and minimize the risk of educational and athletic disruption should require all students and adults to wear a mask while in the classroom and other indoor school settings.

WATCH GOV. BESHEAR TALK ABOUT THE K-12 SCHOOL RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW:

State offers masking guidance for students at K-12 schools

Gov. Andy Beshear said their priority is to have school districts engage in safe in-person instruction for the maximum number of days.

"Our priority is not to argue with each other," said Gov. Beshear. "Our priority is not to play politics. Our priority isn't to do some Red or Blue thing or get involved in some ridiculous, so-called culture war ... our priority is our kids and it is having them in class every day."

The governor says the challenge is the Delta variant is spreading quickly and aggressively among unvaccinated people of all ages. He says for students under 12, the virus could spread through the room "faster than ever before."

Gov. Beshear says without mitigation efforts, the Delta variant will spread through unvaccinated classrooms and buildings resulting in large and frequent quarantines.

"The Delta variant is going to stop you from ultimately having your students in like you want to," said Gov. Beshear.

Though these are not mandates, Gov. Beshear said he expects that school districts will follow the recommendations.

"If we truly want as many in-person classroom days (as possible), these are steps that school districts will need to take," Gov. Beshear said.

The governor urged school district leaders to follow a set of recommendations to try to avoid disruptions that hampered the previous academic year.

Gov. Beshear expressed concern about the speed of the escalation. He says statewide coronavirus cases tripled in two weeks, due to the more aggressive delta variant.