A map shows the COVID-19 incidence rate in Kentucky by county.

As schools begin in-person instruction, the Kentucky Department of Education is constantly updating its guidance concerning COVID-19. At a recent superintendents’ webcast, KDE explained some of the updated guidance.

In light of state standards expanding to allow more children in day cares, KDE is now allowing 14 students to each teacher in small groups. Previously, small groups were limited to eight students for each teacher.

“Of course, everything else around Healthy at School still needs to be followed,” Kelly Foster, KDE Office of Continuous Improvement and Support associate commissioner, said in the meeting.

Those guidances include limiting buildings to 15% of normal student capacity. Christian County Public Schools have moved back to in-person instruction this week.

Elementary schools are back to full in-person instruction while middle and high schools are working on the hybrid — two days in person, three days online — model.

Christian County COVID-19 rates have dropped according to White House models. The county was previously in the “red” zone, meaning the White House determined the region has a positivity rate over 10% an over 100 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.

Christian County has a population around 70,000, according to the last census.

The White House announced Thursday that Christian County has been downgraded to a “yellow” zone.

According to the White House, a county is in the yellow zone if it has reported under 100 new cases in the last week. The lab positivity rate must be between 5% and 10% during the last week reported both new cases between 10 and 100 per 100,000 population

A county that shows only one of the two conditions of being in a red zone will be placed in the yellow zone. As of Wednesday, Christian County had above a 10% positivity rate but under the required cases for a red zone.

KDE also released new guidance concerning student transportation. Previously, the Kentucky Department of Health asked districts to keep students six feet apart on buses.

The new guidance offers several different seating configurations for seating. It asks districts to space students out “to the extent feasible and practical.”

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