The Hardin County COVID-19 incidence rate as of last Thursday was 43.6 and per procedures put in place Aug. 10, Hardin County Schools students, staff, and guests are not required to wear masks inside buildings on district property but are highly encouraged to do so this week as school resumes from fall break.

If the incidence rate for Hardin County is 50.0 or above after the daily rate is updated on Thursdays, all students and all staff will be required to wear masks while inside buildings on district property the entire next week. If it is 49.9 or lower, masks are strongly encouraged but not required, according to a district news release.

Masks will continue to be required on school buses per a federal executive order.

HCS encourages all stakeholders to view the mask status for subsequent weeks on the district website and social media each Thursday.

Contact tracing will continue within HCS, the release stated. Those who are determined to be a school-related direct contact of someone who received a COVID-19 positive test result will either: 1. quarantine at home (seven, ten, or 14 days) or 2. participate in HCS “Test to Stay” protocols and wear a mask while in “Test to Stay” protocol (day 0-8).

HCS will continue with Test to Stay for students who have been identified as a school-related direct contact and have no symptoms. Test to Stay is voluntary. Information is sent home with students who are identified as a school-related direct contact and parents may determine at that time if they want their child to participate in Test to Stay. More information on Test to Stay can be found at www.hardin.kyschools.us. A direct link is https://bit.ly/3ldEQy1.

Individuals who are identified as direct contacts but not masked properly or consistently will not have the option of “symptom monitor” only, the release said.

If a student is wearing their mask properly and consistently and is identified as a direct contact, then a parent will be allowed to select the symptom monitoring option. These students are checked for symptoms at home and school (day 0-8). These symptoms include: fever; new uncontrolled cough that interferes with breathing; new rash; loss of taste/smell; GI symptoms like vomiting, etc.

Vaccinated individuals who are identified as a direct contact of a positive COVID-19 case will continue to monitor symptoms and not be required to quarantine as long as they do not exhibit symptoms.

Beginning today, those involved with athletics programs will also be able to participate in Test to Stay protocols. It is important to note that Test to Stay is completely voluntary and the decision to participate in that program will be left to parents.

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