Fayette County Public Schools goes mask-optional

COVID-19 masks schools
Posted at 6:25 PM, Mar 14, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Demetrus Liggins announced beginning Tuesday, March 15, FCPS will enforce a mask-optional policy.

Masks will be optional in all FCPS district facilities and school buses.

“Some members of our FCPS community will celebrate this milestone as a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic and a sign that we are moving closer toward normalcy,” Liggins said. “For others, this policy change may bring uncertainty or concern.”

The announcement notes this change comes from new information received from the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

"The COVID-19 levels in our community have reached the point where we can ease some of our existing requirements and follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance for a community level of medium."

Liggins shared that students and employees will continue the practice of staying home if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 and reporting positive cases to our FCPS hotline at 859-381-FCPS (3277). Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to stay home for five days. On day six, individuals who have been symptom-free for 24 hours without the use of symptom-reducing medication may return to work or school provided they wear a mask for five days.

When COVID-19 Community levels are medium, the CDC recommends:

  • If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines
  • Get tested if you have symptoms

The district is also lifting all COVID-19 restrictions on school visitors and volunteers beginning Monday, March 21.

Statement from Commissioner of Health, Dr. Joel McCullough:

The numbers for Lexington-Fayette County’s COVID-19 have significantly changed since last week, and we are looking at the totality of the data for the community. All but one of the CDC’s metrics show us out of the high category, and the one metric (new COVID-19 hospital admissions) is very close to the cutoff for the medium category to support Fayette County Public Schools’ mask-optional policy as part of a layered protection strategy.

We continue to support anyone who wishes to wear a mask in public indoor settings, particularly those who are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. It is also important to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to complete the full series, including the booster.