Estill County faces hard choices as more than 300 students are in quarantine

ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – School officials across the state are put in a difficult position as COVID cases rise and more students and staff either test positive for COVID or are put into quarantine.

One example of a district following procedures and still facing challenges is Estill County.

On a spreadsheet posted on Estill County Schools’ website, the district has information about how many new cases it has, how many active cases there are, the total number of positive cases and the amount of students and staff that are quarantined.

As of Aug. 18, 335 students are in quarantine with 24 active cases among students and five among staff.

On the district’s website, a pop-up message from Superintendent Jeff Saylor describes the school system’s current policies and addresses questions residents may have.

Along with urging the community to follow CDC guidelines and to get vaccinated, the message discusses the reason why Estill County has not gone into virtual instruction or called off school. It describes how with the expiration of many emergency measures, only quarantined students can learn remotely from home and how any missed day will have to be made up for like a snow day.

“We will keep a diligent watch on current numbers and, if it becomes necessary, we will see individual classrooms, grade levels and possibly an entire school required to stay home due to quarantine (Level 2 COVID Response),” said Saylor in the message. “If there comes a time when we have widespread cases in our schools or the community, we will call off school. The safety of our students, staff and families is our first priority.”

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