Christian County Public Schools will announce its instructional plan Friday. The district originally planned to return to in-person instruction Wednesday, Jan. 6.

As cases spiked in the county, the district decided to move the in-person instruction date to Monday, Jan. 11. That date is now up in the air.

“It’s not looking good,” CCPS Superintendent Chris Bentzel said Thursday at a Christian County Board of Education workshop. “That’s basically the summarization of the (instructional plan) presentation. Unfortunately … the numbers are not going anywhere right now.”

The Christian County Health Department Thursday announced 92 new COVID-19 cases. That comes after two straight days of more than 100 new active cases.

The county currently has 772 active cases.

Jennie Stuart Health capacity is also a factor in returning to in-person instruction. Bentzel said he spoke to the hospital Thursday and was told it is still at capacity.

He added that around half of the hospital’s patients are COVID-19 positive.

“There’s no hospital in 100 miles that has any rooms,” school board attorney Jack Lackey said.

The district also has 81 staff members have either an active virus cases or are in quarantine.

“That’s a high, high number,” Bentzel said.

The district’s COVID-19 dashboard only shows 23 staff members with an active case or quarantining. Bentzel said the discrepancy is due to staff members acquiring the virus outside of school.

The district is not required to report out-of-school contacts, but it keeps track of them anyway, he said.

The district requires at least 90% staffing to keep schools open, in person. He said that four schools have met the threshold of not enough staff.

The district reported Thursday that 29 in-person students have an active virus case. The largest group is at Christian County High School with 10 cases. All students are still currently learning at home under the NTI model.

Bentzel said the district doesn’t have a hard and fast rule for returning to in-person instruction but is looking at the local case numbers to at least plateau.

The district will meet Friday morning and announce its decision for in-person instruction some time after noon.

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or

Reach Jon Russelburg at 270-887-3241 or

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