As covid-19 hospitalizations again set a record, and more Kentuckians tested positive for the coronavirus, the Kentucky Education Association said Friday that in-person schooling shouldn’t resume until the infection rate falls to where it was before the July surge began.
The KEA is the biggest political ally of Gov. Andy Beshear, who said Wednesday that a rise in the infection rate could prompt him to recommend another delay in in-person instruction. Nine days earlier, he had suggested that it be delayed until the third week of August. Such decisions are up to local school officials, and they have been going both ways lately.
Of the 144 school districts that had responded to a state Department of Education survey as of Thursday, 109 had chosen a “blended” model in which parents and students can choose in-person or online instruction; 26 “indicated they will only have virtual learning to start the year, and nine districts said they are using the ‘hybrid’ or ‘A/B’ model for classes,” reports Billy Kobin of the Louisville Courier Journal.
Beshear reported Friday that 717 people are hospitalized in Kentucky for covid-19, an increase of 20 percent in the last seven days, and 136 are in intensive care. When the previous record of 701 was set Thursday, he said it wasn’t surprising because of the big surge in cases during July.
The governor reported 573 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, leaving the state on the plateau it has seen for almost two weeks. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dropped to 528; two weeks ago, it was at a record 668. Friday’s new cases included 21 children under 5.
The state reported four more covid-19 deaths Friday, raising its toll to 764. The fatalities were a 53-year-old man from Pulaski County, a 62-year-old woman from Graves County, a 73-year-old woman from Jefferson County, and a 91-year-old man from Laurel County.
- Beshear said he would issue his new orders for bars and restaurants Monday, as he described them Thursday.
- A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on rates of children hospitalized with covid-19 found that the rate was low (8 per 100,000 population) when compared to adults (164.5 per 100,000); one in three hospitalized children were put in intensive care. Hispanic and Black children had the highest rates of hospitalizations associated with covid-19.
- “From the bus stop to dismissal,” Fayette County schools have a plan for when students return to in-person instruction, Valerie Honeycutt Spears reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. In a separate article, she writes about the rules around the use of Plexiglas barriers in schools.
- The Courier Journal reports on key details from the Southeastern Conference for coronavirus testing, masks and quarantine, including required tests at least twice a week for players and masks for coaches on the sidelines.
- A recent Commonwealth Fund survey finds that Americans are faring much worse mentally and financially in the pandemic than citizens in other high-income countries, Dennis Thompson reports for MedicineNet. “Data from our research demonstrates that U.S. adults, when compared to people in eight other high-income countries, face greater mental-health and financial consequences from the covid-19 pandemic,” said Reginald Williams II, a vice president at the private foundation, which studies health issues. “It is also notable that few U.S. adults believe that national leadership has done a good job of managing the pandemic when compared to other countries.” Click here for the report.
- The Kentucky Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Sept. 17 in a Boone County case about the legality of Beshear’s emergency orders, Deborah Yetter reports for the Courier Journal.