KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Douglas County health officials on Thursday recommended that schools scale back reopening and return to a previous phase that does not allow for in-person learning.
“With our county’s positivity rate increasing today to 5.2%, we have returned our Smart and Safe School Reopening Guidance to Yellow after one week at Green,” the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Department said in a news release.
In the yellow phase, the county recommends hybrid instruction in K-12 schools, no all-school activities at the elementary level, and no high-risk activities at the middle and high school levels.
The green phase recommendations allow for in-person learning and for activities to resume, with some restrictions. The county had changed its recommendation to the green phase only last week.
Dan Partridge, health department director, said the 14-day positivity rate average increased slightly to above the 5% threshold in the past week, even though about 700 fewer tests were processed.
“We believe our community continues to do a good job with masking and social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus in our community – particularly with what we are seeing in communities in other areas of the state and region,” Partridge said in the release. “But we also want to encourage anyone who believes they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms — even if you don’t know you were potentially exposed — to get tested. With more recently relaxed testing protocols, we can now offer tests to anyone experiencing only one potential COVID-19 symptom.”