Parents, child care director react to FCPS staying open despite rising COVID cases

Posted at 5:32 PM, Jan 10, 2022

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says the number of positive COVID-19 cases is so high, they're still sorting out a backlog of results.

The latest 7-day rolling average of new cases is 742 per day, which is up from about 400 one week ago.

According to Fayette County Public Schools dashboard, hundreds of students are in quarantine while thousands of others are still going to school.

Following the decision of Jefferson County Public Schools to close this week, FCPS Superintendent Dr. Demetrus Liggins sent a letter to parents, saying the district would continue operations, but "we have the ability to shift to non-traditional instruction should that be appropriate."

The decision is a relief to one father of a Kindergarten student.

"Because they have missed already so much, yes," said Jonathan Turock.

When we posted the contents of the letter on the LEX 18 Facebook page, a number of people agreed with one post asking for schools to "please please please stay open."

While others on Facebook are hoping for NTI days due to the latest surge.

Margra Garrier doesn't have kids in Fayette County schools, but she runs an after-school program that picks up the students of working parents.

"If we're not here to pick their kids up after school, they can't work," said Farrier.

She's the director of Kids Konnection Child Care, which, like many other services is short-staffed.

"I haven't been actually able to hire new staff in the last, probably, year. Not any, hire anyone, that is willing to stay and continue to work so it makes it difficult to take in new families. I can't expand," said Farrier.

Farrier says if schools do close, then she worries how her limited staff will be able to handle the extra workload.

"Yeah, because if they close, it means children will need full-daycare because the parents still have to work whether schools are open or not," said Farrier.

Superintendent Liggins says the district will continue monitoring the rise in cases and can shift to NTI if that is what is needed.