BCHD recommends alternating in-person, remote learning


The Boone County Health Dept. released a statement July 21 recommending school systems in the county implement an alternating hybrid schedule for middle school and high school students.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, school systems have been tasked with balancing efforts to reopen schools for in-person learning while also attempting to ensure the health and safety of students and staff through stringent mitigation efforts.

In an alternating hybrid schedule, students would attend in-person classes certain days of the week and participate in remote learning the other days of the week.

“We have been working so closely with the schools in order to kind of figure out a game plan,” BCHD Public Health Educator Claire Haughton said. “What has been really great have been the superintendents. They have all wanted to have a unified front and to keep everything consistent so everything is not confusing for everybody.”

In a press release, the BCHD stated that research suggests the spread of COVID-19 is “minimal” in children ages 0-10. The department, however, stated there is research suggesting youth ages 11-19 are experiencing higher levels of spread.

In April, scientists at the Institut Pasteur in France conducted an epidemiological survey on 1,340 people linked to primary schools in Crépy-en-Valois, a city north of Paris. Based on the survey’s findings, the institute suggested children do not spread the virus as readily as adults or older youths, and infected parents were likely the cause of the children’s infections, as opposed to children infecting parents.

But a study released out of South Korea found that even though children younger than 11 spread the virus less than older children, there is still a risk of transmission.

As of press time, the BCHD reported 611 cases in the county. Of the eight new cases reported July 22, three were residents younger than 19.

Also, all county schools observing IHSAA reentry rules will pause in Phase 1, the first of a three-stage plan to start school athletics, until at least July 31, the department announced.