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More Kentucky, Southern Indiana schools go virtual due to COVID

Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 3:37 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - More and more schools are making the switch to non-traditional instruction, with staffing shortages and high infection rates of COVID-19 creating the challenge.

Schools in Kentucky and Southern Indiana are among those making the decision to go virtual.

Jefferson County Public Schools, Kentucky’s largest school district started online instruction Tuesday, set to continue for at least four days.

The same day, in Southern Indiana, a much smaller district made the same move. Borden-Henryville schools went NTI.

Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel said he’s working with schools in the county to figure out what their best option is.

”We met about a week ago to talk about the numbers and where they were going,” Yazel said, “and we anticipated a bumpy road for a couple weeks as we started second semester.”

Borden-Henryville cited on their website a rise in positive COVID cases, other illnesses and quarantines, as reasons for the change to virtual, which is not always an easy decision to reach.

“We hear from the schools all the time, ‘When do we need to consider going virtual?” Yazel said, “and our standard answer is whenever you feel like you can’t maintain the safeguards that make it a safe environment.”

It’s not just rising case numbers causing problems. Other school districts are reporting staffing shortages.

At Greater Clark County Schools, the largest district in the county, 154 students and staff were in quarantine last week.

Yazel said he doesn’t have just one blanket recommendation for what schools need to do.

“I don’t think there’s a threshold where we say, ‘Okay no more,’” Yazel said, “but we’re just in constant communication with [schools] like, ‘Hey how are you guys looking? What can we do? Is there anything we can do to help and support you?”

Borden-Henryville Schools are set to return to the classroom on Tuesday, following Martin Luther King Jr. Day, barring any setbacks.

On Wednesday evening, Bullitt County Public Schools also announced they would operate on NTI on Friday before returning back to in-person on Jan. 18.

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