Jessamine County Schools monitor Covid trends

Published 2:12 pm Monday, November 29, 2021

Since Nov. 1, masking became optional within Jessamine County schools and will remain so as long as Covid infection statistics stay low. Unfortunately, positive results have been on the uptick.

During last week’s School Board Commission meeting, superintendent Matt Moore reported recent week’s numbers to be “in the red.” According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the current upward trend of cases puts Jessamine in the “red zone,” citing an average of 33.26 cases per 100,000 people. More than 25 cases per 100k is considered to be in this zone. Less than 1 case per 100k is considered low, between 2 and 10 per 100k moderate, and between 11 and 25 substantial.

“We had 25 positive student cases last week [Nov. 15], 22 the week before that,” said Moore. “We’re not having pockets of positive cases, but we’re having cases that are popping up in groups and clusters in our classrooms. If you look at the data recorded over the last few weeks, cases are spreading about evenly throughout our schools.”

As of Nov. 29, the Jessamine County Health Department reports the following:

Jessamine has had a total of 8,595 confirmed Covid cases. Of that total, 97.5 percent of people have recovered. Currently, 1.2 percent resulted in fatalities and 1.3 percent are active cases.

In the past seven days, 126 new cases were reported, which is actually down 12 from the week before. Twelve are currently hospitalized, which is down two from the week prior as well.

In total 105, Jessamine County residents have died from Covid, putting Jessamine up by two fatalities as of last week. Eighty-two residents have been reinfected, three of which were over the past week. A total of 864 have experienced breakthrough cases since the start of the pandemic.

According to the Jessamine County Health Department, there was an increase in new cases from August through September. The 26 new cases during the week of July 25 grew to a peak of 464 by the week of Sept. 19. This is the highest reported number of active cases throughout the history of the pandemic in Jessamine – the previous all-time high being 259 the week of Jan. 10, 2021.

The number of new active cases trended back down after the week of Sept. 19, reaching a low of 78 by the end of October. That number has since increased to the aforementioned 126.

Throughout the county, 56.9 percent of people have had at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. A total of 48.8 percent are reportedly fully vaccinated.

Of vaccination rates, individuals 39 and younger see the fewest. Age groups 5-11, 12-15, 16-17, 18-24, and 25-39 have reported vaccination rates of 11 percent, 48 percent, 45 percent, 50 percent and 55 percent, respectively.
The CDC is currently recommending people follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, washing hands frequently, and physically distancing from others. CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated, along with a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible.

“I’ll continue watching the cases daily,” said Moore. “If we do see them continue to increase, we may have to look into other options. But right now I still feel incredibly confident we’re going to remain in person. I feel we’ve done a great job mitigating the pandemic so far.”

The Jessamine County Board of Education has not revoked the option forgo masks as of writing. It will continue to monitor Covid statistics.