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Covington, Bellevue Schools to Require Masks Regardless of Vaccination

Covington and Bellevue school districts announced that they will require masks for all students and staff inside buildings and on buses, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.

The announcements follow recommendations to do so by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kentucky Department of Public Health (KDPH).

The delta variant of the virus that caused a worldwide pandemic and shifted schools to virtual learning and/or led to strong restrictions for in-person learning, has resulted in an increase in COVID-19 cases locally and around the world. The increase in cases is almost entirely among people who are not yet vaccinated, though there are reports of vaccinated individuals contracting the virus and possibly spreading it.

In both districts, administrators cited the recommendations from federal and state agencies.

There are three COVID-19 vaccines widely available across the U.S., including Kentucky. One has been authorized for use in people as young as 12 years old, but none, as of yet, have been authorized for people younger than that. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses spaced several weeks apart while the Johnson & Johnson one is a single dose.

Bellevue Schools will offer free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible individuals aged 12 and older at Ben Flora Gymnasium during its open house and block party on Monday, August 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. (with a second dose administered on Saturday, September 11.

Both districts will also maintain some physical distancing in buildings, and will monitor COVID-19 data for any potential changes in policy.

To read Covington's announcement, click here.

To read Bellevue's announcement, click here.

In other news from Bellevue:

The board of education approved a first payment for renovations at Bellevue High School and Grandview Elementary School. Superintendent Robb Smith said that the new bathrooms at the high school should be finished by the start of school or close to that.

Asbestos removal will start this week.

-Michael Monks and Patricia A. Scheyer