COVID cases among college students push Fayette County to ‘red level’ for in-person classes

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 11:40 AM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - UK’s COVID-19 cases are impacting Fayette County’s incidence rate.

Fayette County is now in the “red,” meaning it’s recommended the school district not begin in-person classes.

It’s something Superintendent Manny Caulk says he’s watching closely.

Caulk says the district has been working on a hybrid approach for returning students to in-person learning, but we still don’t know when will that actually happen. This week, the county moved into what the state is calling “the red.”

That means we’re in a critical area for COVID-19 cases.

Based on the state’s advice, students should be learning remotely only.

The superintendent points out that a large percentage of the county’s cases are among UK students and they’re hoping to learn if those cases are isolated within the campus, or if they indicate a wider community spread.

The district is working with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department to keep track of the updated numbers.

Kevin Hall, Lexington-Fayette County Health Department:

“23% of the cases have been ages 19 and younger," said health dept. spokesperson Kevin Hall. "So, we’re looking at a pretty good range of them being within school range. This is going to be a tough decision for the Fayette County school board and the superintendent because you’ve got to protect the people of Lexington, the teachers, the staff, the students and there’s no good answer to this.”

Superintendent Caulk says there will be a special board meeting on Friday to hear more from the health department. The board is expected to make a decision on Monday about how the next six weeks will move forward.

The state also recommends suspending all school-related athletics for districts in the red, but it’s not clear if Fayette County will shut down sports.

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