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Like so many schools across the country, northeastern Kentucky educational establishments are rolling with the pandemic punches.

The Raceland-Worthington School District announced all students grades 6-12 will return to virtual instruction beginning on Thursday and will remain virtual through Nov. 4.

The district made the decision after receiving notification of multiple quarantines among staff members.

“While these are not positive COVID-19 cases involving staff members, these quarantines will affect sixth grade through 12th grade instruction for the next 14 days,” a Facebook post from the district stated. “Filling staff vacancies has been an issue for our school district. We do not currently have positive cases among teachers and staff members.”

Preschool through fifth grade will stay open to in-person instruction at Raceland.

Russell Independent Schools will move to four days of in-person instruction and one day of virtual learning, according to Superintendent Sean Horne in a letter sent to families of students in the district.

Starting Oct. 26, every Wednesday through the end of the first semester will consist of virtual instruction. Students currently using the face-to-face model will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

“Our custodial staff will use Wednesday as a day of deep cleaning for our schools,” Dr. Horne said. “Our teachers will devote this day to the virtual learning platform.”

Horne apologized for any hardship this causes families, however, “it is incumbent upon all of us to do everything within our power to curb the spread of this virus,” he said.

Greenup (22), Boyd (12.2), Carter (20.3) and Lewis (15.1) counties are all in the orange zone, with less than 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people (based on the previous seven days), on the Incidence Rate Map. When in the orange, schools are recommended to “be prepared” to go virtual in the event it goes red.

Lawrence County (27), Johnson County (33.5) and Martin County (39.6) are three red counties in the northeastern Kentucky area.

Dr. Robbie Fletcher, Lawrence County’s superintendent, announced last Friday that all Lawrence County Schools will continue at-home learning through the end of this week. He will provide another update on Friday.

Schools, even those that have been forced to go virtual due to a red status, continue to post reports on respective websites regarding quarantined students. Johnson County’s current report lists 48 quarantined students, the highest number at any single time throughout the school year so far.

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