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Kids headed back to school tomorrow? Here's what Fayette County's COVID policies look like

Paul Ratje/AP
FR171815 AP

As students stream back into Fayette County public schools Wednesday, masks will remain optional — that's despite the district's current status as a COVID "red zone."

The community level map may put Fayette County squarely in the red, but the district is taking steps to integrate COVID into school policies rather than making it the primary focus. That was the message of an August 3rd letter to parents and families.

While the district will continue to partner with the local health department to review the status of the virus in the county and safety protocols, for now masks will stay optional — though strongly recommended when the county is in the red.

With the expanded availability of vaccines for younger children and new anti-viral treatments, the district says it's entering a "new phase in the pandemic" — one that requires shifting the emphasis away from mandates toward "individual choice and accountability." School leaders are recommending at-home testing and requesting that positive cases be reported to the child's school.

It's a strategy that will be tested in the coming days and weeks as the state continues to tackle highly contagious subvariants of the virus.

Find Fayette County Public Schools' full COVID-19 policy page here.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.