Knox County in ‘red zone,’ Two students worried about in-person learning


KNOX COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two students say they are playing it even safer now that Knox County has been classified as a red zone.

High school freshman Zoe Hale says she saw cases skyrocket.

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“It’s kinda crazy because I never thought it would get that bad here,” says Hale.

Cases in the county were fairly low until mid June. In fact, the health department only reported eight cases between early April and late May.

Now, with more than 300 cases, Hale says she’s more worried than before.

“I guess I’m kinda scared of someone in my family catching it and then giving it to somebody else and then it become like a widespread thing,” Hale says.

On Tuesday, Governor Andy Beshear announced new White House data which listed 20 Kentucky counties in what it calls the red zone, meaning the positivity rate in the area is 10-percent or higher.

Hale says she didn’t know Knox County was in a red zone, but she says she was already playing it safe because her mother is a double amputee and at risk for the virus. However, she says not everyone is doing their part to stay safe.

“The older people are wearing masks and doing what they’re supposed to do, but the younger people, like in their 20’s, they’re not wearing masks,” says Hale.

Knox County middle schooler Landon Smith says he thinks most people are taking precautions, but he’d like to see more.

“I think they need to take the mask policy a little bit more seriously because if you go in Walmart you do see some people not wearing a mask,” Smith says.

Knox county schools plan to resume online learning September 8, with the option to go back in-person on a hybrid schedule starting the 28th. Both Hale and Smith say they don’t see in-person classes being realistic.

“Sooner or later someone will get it at the school, and I don’t want to be there when they do,” says Smith.

“Germs in a school spread like wildfire,” says Hale. “I can tell you that.”

Both students say they hope every student who does go back in-person stays safe – if not for themselves, for others.

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Bobbi McSwine joined the ABC 36 News Team in March 2020. She started as a Web Content Producer in November 2019. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL, known to many as the “Windy City.” She studied journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. While in school, she had a number of internships ranging from Free Spirit Media, ABC 7 Chicago and Illinois Public Media. She fell in love with writing in high school and paired that with a newfound passion for storytelling in college. She misses her hometown, but she loves the horses and rich history in Lexington. When she’s not working, she’s probably listening to music or binge-watching Netflix. She’s always looking to get to know more people in Central Kentucky, so feel free to shoot her a message on Facebook @BobbiWTVQ, follow her on Twitter @McSwineB_News, or send her an email at