LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- As COVID-19 cases continue to rise among the younger population, Kentucky's largest school district is rolling out a new way to notify parents of positive cases. 

Jefferson County Public Schools is now asking parents to sign up to receive text alerts to be notified of any positive COVID-19 cases and to find out if their child needs to quarantine.

Up until now, the district has been calling parents to update them, but Superintendent Marty Pollio says that process takes a lot of time, and sending out a mass text would get the word out to more parents sooner.

This system isn't new to the district. 

It has been used for a long time in order to alert families of any danger at a school and to send districtwide updates. On Friday, officials were pushing for more parents to sign their kids up for weekly testing.

There are currently 16 sites districtwide. They're open 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday for students and staff. 

About 9,000 students and 3,300 staff are currently signed up but officials say the goal is to have at least 10% of every school system in the program. 

"In-person learning is critical," said Eva Stone, JCPS manager of district health services. "And if you see kids in schools, they want to be back. They want to be back in person. And this is how we do that. And it's going to take our whole community to do it, working together."

Parents must opt-in on their phones to receive the alerts by texting "Y" to 67587. Those who do not sign up for the alerts will be contacted via phone. 

In the event a parent doesn't see the text alert and a student shows up when they shouldn't be there, officials say each district has a list of students who should be quarantining in order to take appropriate action.

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