Ballard County Schools in a release Friday said the school district will remain with all-virtual learning next week because of the number of staff quarantined due to potential COVID-19 exposure, with not enough staff available to sufficiently teach students in person.
District athletic practices and games are also suspended for the safety of students and families. Ballard County Schools Superintendent Casey Allen in a statement said it’s been “particularly hard” for the district with quarantined instructional staff members.
“As many of you know, Ballard County transitioned to the red ‘critical’ phase on the state’s incidence map yesterday, meaning we have more than 25 cases of the virus per 100,000 citizens,” Allen said in a statement. “As long as we continue to see a high number of our staff affected, our team will meet on Fridays to make plans for the coming week.”
State data shows Ballard County is among the majority of Kentucky counties classified as a “red zone” with “critical” COVID-19 spread. Gov. Andy Beshear had previously issued a series of recommendations for those living in “red zone” counties, and state health officials have for months recommended districts in “red zone” counties move to all-virtual learning when reaching that status. Ballard County’s incidence rate as of Friday is 30.8 daily cases per 100,000 people on average.
Allen also said the school district plans to return to a “hybrid” model of learning as soon as enough staff are out of quarantine. He said a “large group” of students were quarantining from potential COVID-19 exposure at a school-related activity, but that no students were quarantining from exposure in the classroom.
Paducah Public Schools on Thursday announced the district is pivoting to all-virtual learning due to an increase in local COVID-19 cases. Murray Independent Schools and Calloway County Schools also recently announced a move to all-virtual learning.