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Masks might be back at JCPS for last week of school

Superintendent Marty Pollio says depending on what the CDC says Thursday night, the masks might be back as soon as Monday.
Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Superintendent Marty Pollio said depending on what the CDC announces Thursday night, the masks might be back as soon as Monday.

Jefferson County Public Schools prepares each week by looking at the CDC guidance on the Thursday night before. Going into the last week of the school year, they’re waiting to see what the CDC’s numbers say.

Pollio said he hopes kids won’t be back in masks for the final week, but it’s up in the air.

“We will look at the CDC guidance, the CDC guidance goes to red and says mandatory masks in schools are recommended, that’s what we’ll do,” Pollio said.

Pediatrician Julia Richerson said after a slowdown in the spring, she’s seen an increase in cases in kids over the last six weeks.

“And this is in all ages,” Richerson said. “Infants all the way through teenagers. The cases have been quite severe for some children.”

She said a decrease in mask wearing leads to an increase in infections.

“We know with decreased masking everywhere, that it will increase the contact we have with the infection and the chance that we get it,” Richerson said.

Jefferson County is in the medium risk category, but the numbers are heading towards high risk, according to Dr. Jason Smith, Chief Medical Officer at UofL Health.

“It’s something that’s going to happen over the course of the next year,” Smith said. “For our standpoint, what we’re looking for is overall hospital admissions, because we know we’re going to have disease transmitted in the community.”

Jefferson County isn’t the only county to see an uptick in cases. Cases are up across the entire county. Jefferson County is one of 12 counties in Kentucky to be in the medium risk level.

That could change once the CDC updates their numbers.

“Inevitably, we know we’re going to have ebbs and flows to what’s happening with this pandemic moving forward, and I think we’re starting to see one as we get into the summertime,” Smith said.

There might be only five days of school left, but bringing masks back could be sign of things to come for the rest of the summer.

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WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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