The state announced plans to give vaccinated staff or employees that receive their vaccinations by December 1, 2021 a one-time $100 payment. This incentive applies to full-time and part-time employees. At the September 23, 2021 Hancock County Board of Education meeting, the board voted to add to this amount. “Our board decided to add $50 to the state incentive,” Hancock County Board of Education Superintendent Robby Asberry said.
With this addition, the vaccine incentive pay increases to a one-time $150 payment. Superintendent Asberry said the board pays the entire $150 incentive, and the KDE then reimburses the district for $100 of the incentive.
According to a press release from the Kentucky Department of Education, the department used $8.8 million in elementary and secondary school emergency relief funds for the payments.
“There will be enough funding to reimburse districts for approximately 88,000 local school district staff,” the press release said.
Regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Delta surge numbers continue to fluctuate locally, but appear to be entering a downward path. From August 13 to September 10 Hancock County averaged 22.5 new COVID cases per week. The week of September 14 the number of new cases took the largest week-to-week jump since the beginning of August with 50 new cases of the virus. The week of September 24th the numbers then dropped dramatically to only 17 new cases, and the week of September 28 held steady with 18 new cases.
Since the start of the pandemic in January of 2020, 1,265 people in Hancock County contracted COVID-19, and 17 people died from the virus. This translates into a death rate of 1.3-percent.
Superintendent Asberry said the number of COVID cases recorded in the school district were not bad during this surge. He said the district has five COVID positive staff and students, and 22 COVID quarantined persons, a number representing less than one-percent of the student and staff population.
“Obviously we do not any positive COVID cases or quarantines,” Asberry said. “Our COVID numbers went down in the last couple of weeks, and our quarantines went down tremendously.”
By Ralph Dickerson