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Once Ludlow Independent Schools Began Testing Students Daily For COVID, Quarantines Decreased

medical mask

Quarantines have been impacting schools across the region as students begin another year in the COVID-19 pandemic. One district in Northern Kentucky is working to keep students in the classroom, despite exposures

Ludlow Independent Schools was hit hard by COVID-19 early in the school year. Roughly 82 students within the district were forced to quarantine - almost 10% of the student population. Students would have to miss seven days of school if they came in close contact with an infected person.

Now, the district is working with Gravity Diagnostics and the Northern Kentucky Health Department to conduct daily COVID-19 tests for students. Superintendent Mike Borchers says tests are conducted each morning starting at 7:30.

"We do a full test here at school, we get the results by 8:00 the next morning," Borchers said. "Our rapid tests are taking 30 minutes … and what we also do with that is we send that sample down and still get another full PCR test."

Currently, the district is dealing with 13 cases and 22 quarantines. Only one case and two quarantines are a result of direct contact at the school. At least 90% of the staff are vaccinated and a mask policy is in place. However, Borchers is aware that the pandemic is still going strong. Kenton County currently has more than 1,000 active cases.

"We know from all of the data that we're receiving from the state and from our zip codes that COVID is rampant right now in our region," Borchers said. "I do feel that with all the mitigation strategies we're following, we're able to keep it to a very manageable situation."

Borchers says the district probably won't go fully virtual again mainly due to the amount of staff that’s vaccinated. He adds that the district is doing everything it can to stay fully in-person.

"The biggest thing for most everybody is the parents want to know their child is going to be safe and that they're going to get an education," Borchers said. "And if you can do that and convey that to your families, I think they'll buy into the program you have, which will make everything a lot smoother."

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.