A return to normal: Boone County Schools dropping COVID-19 restrictions this year

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Boone County Schools will keep masks optional for students this year, according to Public Information Officer Barbara Brady. 

During a COVID-19 committee meeting on Monday, district officials discussed COVID-19-related information to be sent out to families in a flyer ahead of the first day of school. Brady told LINK nky the district is approaching this year with recommendations but no requirements. 

Boone County Schools plans to make face masks optional for students and recommend the COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to standard hygiene practices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other illnesses. Brady added that the district is not quarantining students this year. As long as students are asymptomatic, they are able to attend school, Brady said. 

The district recommends students stay home when experiencing symptoms of any illness and return when symptoms have subsided, Brady said. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms stay home, take a test, and isolate for up to 10 days. Rules are slightly different for vaccinated individuals. The CDC recommends those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 should isolate for five days and wear a mask for the remaining five days when they are in public.

Those same rules apply for staff member who may test positive this year, Brady said. 

The district spokesperson added that the Kentucky Department of Education recently released COVID-19 guidance for school systems to review, but Boone County Schools will likely stay the course to suit the desires of the district and parents. 

The news comes as districts are revisiting mask policies and other COVID-19 guidance during the back-to-school season. 

More news:  LINK nky Daily Headlines: Monday, Dec. 4, 2023
A color-coded map from the Kentucky Department for Public Health shows the majority of Kentucky counties in red, representing the highest level of infection for COVID-19. Yellow represents the second-highest level. Photo provided | Kentucky Department for Public Health

Jefferson County Public Schools renewed its mask requirement on Monday after the county entered the highest level for community spread of COVID-19, according to the Kentucky Department for Public Health data. 

Boone County has entered the same level of high community spread as Jefferson County and the majority of the state. 

According to the last weekly COVID-19 case report, dated May 13, the district reported 15 cases among students, 10 cases among staff, and two individuals in quarantine due to exposure. 

Public health data shows at least 70% of Boone County has been vaccinated against COVID-19 with at least one shot, placing the community among the top five counties in the state for vaccinations. 

CDC data shows Boone County with roughly 350 cases detected in the last week, though that data does not reflect the number of cases confirmed through home test kits. 

Students are due back at school on Thursday, Aug. 18. 

This chart shows the COVID-19 guidance handed down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo provided | CDC

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