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Lexington Catholic stops in-person learning after COVID cases

Lexington Catholic High School officials have announced that the school will switch from in-person to virtual learning starting Monday as a result of positive cases at the school reported by parents and the Lexington-Fayette Health Department.

A letter to families from Lexington Catholic High School President Sandra Young and Principal Mathew George on Sunday did not say how many positive cases were reported, but said the decision was made “out of any abundance of caution.”

Tom Brown, Superintendent of Schools for the Catholic Diocese of Lexington, said Sunday he did not anticipate that other schools in the diocese that had reopened would also switch to virtual learning.

“We have not had a single issue at any of the elementary schools,” Brown said. He said he did not know the exact number of positive cases that had been reported.

Lexington Catholic has also suspended athletic practices on Monday and Tuesday, the letter to families said.

Schools across the state are deciding whether to follow the Kentucky High School Athletic Association decision to proceed with fall sports. Fayette schools have suspended practices until the school board meets Monday. Jefferson County public schools are in a similar holding pattern. Oldham County schools announced Friday that its teams would hold off moving forward on the KHSAA’s plan until after Beshear reviews it.

Gov. Andy Beshear has not said that he will take any action on the KHSAA decision, but if he does, it could come as early as Monday. Beshear did not immediately comment Sunday about the shutdowns at Lexington Catholic.

A Facebook group, “’Let them Play’ in Kentucky” has grown to more than 23,000 members and announced a rally at the Capitol in Frankfort at 10 a.m. Monday to show support for high school sports as Beshear considers whether to accept, reject or recommend the KHSAA modify it’s plan.

Lexington Catholic High officials are hoping to restart in-person learning on Sept. 8, the letter said.

Catholic schools in Kentucky had decided earlier this month not to follow Beshear’s recommendation that schools delay in person learning until Sept. 28. Lexington Catholic began in-person classes last week. Health Department officials did not immediately comment Sunday.

At least one other private school in Kentucky and one public school district has also shut down in-person learning after reopening despite Beshear’s recommendation.

Staff writer Valarie Honeycutt Spears covers K-12 education, social issues and other topics. She is a Lexington native with southeastern Kentucky roots.

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