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Pandemic Prom in Woodford County despite health officials' advice

Posted at 6:14 PM, Jul 17, 2020

WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Friday night is prom night in Woodford County for the classes of 2020 and 2021 who missed their big event due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Woodford County Health Department officials say some parents organized the event at Castle Hill Winery, despite advice not to go through with the prom due to public health concerns.

Environmental Health Director Barrett Schoeck says while the parents promised to have students follow safety precautions, he advised against the anticipated large gathering.

"It's not the best idea, our cases are still surging. They're on the rise in Woodford County," Schoeck said.

Schoeck, who was out of town, spoke by Zoom. He says the county has had 94 (cases) and adds "getting all these people together, a week from now we could have an outbreak."

It's unclear how many students will come, but state guidelines allow venues like the winery to hold up to fifty-percent capacity indoors.

Schoeck says at the winery fifty-percent would be 150-people max, not counting an unlimited number of guests allowed outdoors.

LEX 18 tried repeatedly to contact the parent organizers to see what safety precautions would be taken, but no one returned our calls.

Woodford County Judge-Executive James Kay says he did not support the idea of a prom because of the obvious concern over public health.

But as long as organizers and prom goers follow safety precautions, there is little health officials can do.

Kay, along with Schoeck, both hope for a safe outcome, adding they'll know the possible consequences in a couple of weeks, if the county's current COVID cases jump significantly.