OLDHAM COUNTY SCHOOLS.jpeg

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Oldham County Schools will transition to remote learning for at least three weeks starting Friday after the county hit the "red zone" in Kentucky's COVID-19 incidence rate metric, Superintendent Greg Schultz announced Monday.

OCS will cease in-person instruction through Dec. 4, Schultz wrote in a letter to families. Oldham County's COVID-19 incidence rate on Monday was 27.4 new daily cases per 100,000 residents based on a seven-day rolling average.

"Red zone" counties, which indicate the highest risk of coronavirus spread, are those with more than 25 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents per day.

Gov. Andy Beshear and state health officials have said schools in counties with such high COVID-19 incidence rates should move to distance learning.

Schultz said a decision on resuming classroom instruction will be made by Dec. 3. Regular season games for district athletics have also been suspended, though practices may continue, he said.

"If we remain in the red category but do not see a sizable increase in the county incident rate, we may consider returning to in-person instruction," he wrote in the letter to families. "We are continually monitoring the numbers of staff and students with positive cases and the numbers of those in quarantine to inform our decisions.

"For this reason, it is imperative that parents report positive test results and quarantines to their school during (nontraditional instruction)."

Schultz also cited a growing number of COVID-19 cases and quarantines among students and staff as factors in his decision to temporarily close the district's classrooms.

The district reported nine new COVID-19 cases among students and eight new cases among staff to the Kentucky Department for Public Health last week, with 47 students and three staff quarantined, according to the agency's coronavirus dashboard.

"During this period of increased community spread, we ask that you follow Covid-19 guidelines such as limiting social gathering, staying home when ill, quarantining if exposed to a person who tests positive, and wearing facial coverings when out in the community," Schultz wrote in the letter.

"Doing these things will greatly increase the likelihood of lowering our incidence rate and continuing in-person instruction."

Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.