Owensboro Public Schools move forward with in-person learning as county enters red zone

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OWENSBORO, Ky (WEHT) While several area schools are going virtual, Owensboro Public Schools announced on Facebook Friday their intentions to move forward with in-person learning.

Students will attend school on an A-B hybrid schedule, with the A group going to school Monday and the B group attending Thursday.

OPS reminds everyone that all Healthy at School guidelines are still in place, and masks and social distancing are required at all times in the school buildings.

They are working with the Green River District Health Department to ensure the safety of students and their families, and they are prepared to return to virtual learning if necessary.

The decision comes as Daviess County was placed in the red zone because of a high number of COVID-19 cases.

“When a place like Owensboro that you look at as a small town, and it’s in the red zone, it’s kind of eye opening,” said Kayla Norton of Owensboro.

“The timing of COVID-19 is never good for any decision to make,” said OPS Superintendent Dr. Matthew Constant.

Statistics from the Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services show Daviess County with a rate of just below 27 cases per 100,00 people. making it the 5th county in our area to be in the critical red zone. Clay Horton of the Green River District Health Department says case clusters are stemming from all types of gatherings. The designation adds to growing concerns among some residents as positive cases keep adding up.

“It’s a little scary,” said Carrie Bishop of Daviess County. “My grandmother is our biggest worry because we don’t want to spread it to her.”

Constant says they’ll follow the state’s Healthy At School guidelines, and have talked with other districts on what worked on their re-introduction to in-person learning.

“We’ve been able to learn from other districts on every color of the map, so we’ve been talking to other districts that have chosen to go back, even on a red status and have learned a lot from them,” he said.

Dr. Constant also says that if this district, or another in the community, is ruled to have contributed to community spread, then they will switch back to virtual learning.

Daviess county public schools are also planning to send kids back to class Monday on an alternating A-B schedule. In a statement, DCPS officials say the district’s had three weeks of experience in in-person learning and schools have proven the ability to maintain safe practices such as mandatory face coverings and social distancing among students and staff.

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(This story was originally published on October 9, 2020)

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