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Governor: Delay In-Person School Until Sept. 28; Bars Reopen, Restaurants Expand

Schools should not return to in-person learning until at least September 28, Governor Andy Beshear recommended on Monday during his daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentucky.

Beshear cited the uptick in cases in the state that started with roughly 12,000 new positive cases throughout July. 

"In my very core I want us to get back to in-person instruction," Beshear said, but added that it is "not safe" for kids, teachers, and staff.

"The concept that we would try to resume in-person classes at our peak instead of a decline is something that would defy logic and wouldn't be safe to do," he said.

Beshear said that he did not want to see schools open and then shutter again the way they have in recent days in other states when COVID-19 cases were discovered. "We have to have a plan, and I have to make a recommendation that gives us a real chance at success," Beshear said.

A webinar is scheduled for Tuesday to discuss the issue with superintendents.

Some local school districts reacted quickly to Beshear's recommendation.

"The Kenton County School District is aware of Governor Beshear’s recommendation. We will review and release more information regarding the impacts on instruction as soon as possible," the Kenton County School District tweeted.

"As you can imagine, our leadership team will be meeting tomorrow to do our first pause and pivot of this school year," Dayton Independent Schools posted to Facebook. "Please stay tuned as we Grow Forward."

Beshear also urged Kentuckians not to vacation at areas where COVID hot spots have been discovered. "We continue to see families go to the beach," he said. "Every time that happens, you can bring it back to your workplace which is trying hard to keep it out, your church, or Heaven help us, a school."

Beshear also announced that bars can reopen in the state starting Tuesday, and that restaurants can expand to 50% capacity, up from the current 25%. Customers at such establishments will have to be masked when not consuming food or drink, and service to customers should be made at tables, rather than at a bar, Beshear said.

The establishments should stop serving at 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m., he said.

In announcing Kentucky's COVID-19 stats for Monday, Beshear noted that there had been some technical difficulties with the reporting system and that the numbers reported Monday would likely increase.

However, he identified 275 new cases across the state, 41 of which were located in Kenton County. The state has seen 35,254 since the pandemic began.

The current positivity rate is 5.71%.

The state has conducted 700,417 tests. 

641 people are currently hospitalized with 155 in intensive care.

This story may be updated.

-Staff report

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