Cynthiana, Kentucky (November 11, 2020) - On Monday, November 9th, WEDCO reported 10 new cases of COVID-19 in Harrison County. Based on a seven-day rolling average, this put our local incident rate at 20 keeping Harrison County in the ORANGE on the COVID-19 Current Incidence Rate in Kentucky map. Tuesday, November 10th, Harrison County reported 19 new cases of COVID-19. Although the map still has us listed at a rate of 18.2, in actuality our rate at the local level is 31 placing us firmly in the RED. Evaluating conditions in surrounding counties, nearly all of them are experiencing similar conditions and find themselves also in the RED. With a statewide positivity rate of 7.68 and a local incident rate of over 30, it is safe to say that we are experiencing community spread. At this time, few if any of these cases can be attributed to school or school-related activities. Regardless, as our local rates climb, our future actions will be implemented in a way to help keep the spread out of school, reduce the local rate and ensure that learning can continue as safely as possible.
Working in close partnership with Dr. Crystal Miller and her team at WEDCO, we believe that the safest plan for this community at this time is to prepare to switch to full virtual, remote learning until such time as the state and local rates reach a point where we can again safely hold in-person learning. Effective Monday, November 16th, the Harrison County Public School District will switch to our Full Virtual Remote Learning Plan. This means all students will learn from home using the Google Classroom. This switch will be effective through November 24th. Harrison County Schools will observe Thanksgiving Break November 25th-27th. We will evaluate the local conditions to determine the mode of instruction following that date. While we will be in school for the remainder of this week, any parent who wishes to keep their child home tomorrow or Friday may do so, and consider it an early transition to the November 16th - 24th virtual model. If you do choose to keep your child home tomorrow or Friday, this will have no bearing on your child’s preferred learning mode when we are able to return to in-person classes.
I know this time is difficult for all especially our families, but please understand that this decision is made with the safety of our students, staff and community as our highest priority. As always, our meal service and other student support programs such as our mental health and wellness hotline and the technology help desk will continue to be provided. We look forward to conditions where we can safely return to in-person learning, and the community is the key to achieving those conditions. Please do your part to continue practicing COVID safety protocols by wearing a face covering, maintaining social distancing, and limiting your exposure in larger than immediate family gatherings.
Harry E. Burchett, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Harrison County Public Schools