Students will be expected to wear masks if they can’t stay six feet apart, education chief tells superintendents; guidelines due Wed.

Senior Jordan Alvarez wore a mask as he adjusted his cap for a portrait during cap-and-gown distribution for seniors at STEAM Academy in Lexington. (Photo by Matt Goins, Lexington Herald-Leader)

“If Kentucky public school students can’t stay six feet apart, they will likely be expected to wear face masks at school to curb the covid-19 pandemic when buildings reopen in the fall, Kentucky Education Commissioner Kevin Brown said Monday during a virtual meeting with superintendents,” Valarie Honeycutt Spears reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader.

“The mask may be the number-one thing we can do,” Deputy Health Commissioner Connie White told the superintendents, some of whom had warned in an earlier conference with the state officials that a mask requirement would be difficult to enforce because of parental opposition.

“Brown said while state officials know that students won’t be able to wear a mask every minute of every school day, he hopes that district officials will give it their best effort,” Spears reports.

Education officials said Gov. Andy Beshear plans to announce guidelines Wednesday for school openings.

Those guidelines may include “serving meals in the classroom, in the gymnasium, and even the hallway,” Spears reports. “The state guidance on school meals released Monday also said that chairs should face in the same direction during meals, that deep cleaning would be required of food service areas, and that extra time would be given for students to wash their hands. Precautions, such as social distancing and temperature taking, will be used by food-service workers.”

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