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JCPS doesn’t go far enough to protect against COVID, employee says

Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 12:08 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 17, 2021 at 12:51 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An anonymous Jefferson County Public Schools staff member thinks the district’s COVID guidelines don’t go far enough and don’t make sense.

“At this point, we know, even though you’re vaccinated, you can still contract COVID-19,” the employee said. “The added measure, the moving of the goal post so to speak, is causing a constant state of anxiety for a lot of employees.”

The employee didn’t want to be identified out of fear of being fired.

They said they think more testing needs to be done for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, alleging that because people who are vaccinated aren’t getting tested is leading to more COVID cases in schools.

The employee said on the first day of the school year, they were one of the many who had to quarantine.

“I would like to see common sense measures,” the employee said. “Vaccinated or not. If you are exposed to someone with COVID, you should be tested. If you are symptomatic, you should be tested. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want kids to get sick, I don’t want staff members to get sick.”

According to JCPS data, as of Sept. 16, 707 students have tested positive and 2,340 are in quarantine. Additionally, 104 staff members are positive with COVID and 59 of them are quarantined.

“There’s no common sense there,” the JCPS staffer said. “We’ve seen it everyday staff members are contracting COVID and are testing positive.”

A JCPS spokesperson said vaccinated employees don’t have to get tested for COVID, but healthcare workers have them fill out a screening after exposure. The mandatory questionnaire asks if the employee has close contact with someone with COVID and any signs or symptoms. All the questions require a “yes” or “no” response. However, despite that employee being near someone with a COVID case, there is a disclaimer stating if the COVID case exposure comes two weeks after getting fully vaccinated, the employee is cleared to enter the district’s buildings and schools.

The JCPS employee WAVE 3 News spoke to said there isn’t anything stopping people from getting around what they believe are loopholes in the system.

“I don’t feel safe when people come into my office and say they have someone at home with COVID,” they said. “Just because they have a vaccine that protects them from severe symptoms, doesn’t mean everyone is protected.”

JCPS is offering voluntary testing in district schools, so there’s still an opportunity to have peace of mind. As of now, more than 9,700 students and 4,000 staff members are signed up to get tested.

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