LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Contact tracers should be in almost every local heath department by the start of the school year, according to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
During a superintendents’ webcast on Tuesday, Cabinet for Health and Family Services executive adviser Mark Carter said before the coronavirus pandemic there was approximately 430 contact tracers. He said since then, the number of contact tracers has doubled and an additional 260 should be added by the start of the school year. The contact tracers can help track cases in schools.
Carter said fraud is a concern and said contact tracers will never ask for someone’s Social Security number, passwords, banking information or immigration status.
Other changes mentioned on the webcast included plexiglass. Plexiglass that is securely mounted, does not have sharp edges and can be regularly cleans will also be allowed in schools, according to Department for Public Health deputy commissioner Connie White.
According to the Department for Public Health, people who test positive for COVID-19 must wait at least 10 days since symptoms appeared a be fever free for 24 hours in order to return to school, based on guidance from the CDC. The previous wait time was 72 hours fever free. A negative COVID-19 test is not required to return to school.
KDE’s director of the Division of School and Community Nutrition Lauren Moore said nationwide waivers would allow for food service for students, whether learning in classrooms or NTI, on days of planned instruction.
There are three models for getting meals to NTI students:
- Meal pick-up services, in which a student or their parent or guardian picks up food at school and takes it home, preferably in a “drive-through” style or with staggered pick-up times;
- Sending meals home with students during an in-person instruction day for consumption on following NTI days; or
- Offering meal delivery at normal bus stops or direct to households.
Flexibility options involving teaching were also discussed. KDE’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness associate commissioner Rob Akers said districts can use digital learning providers such as Apex, Edgenuity or Odysseyware and any teacher certified on the content can facilitate those courses.
He also said teachers will be able to teach up or down grade levels and districts can apply for emergency certification if there are no qualified candidates to teach a subject.