All Kentucky public schools will remain closed to in-person classes for the rest of the school year, following recommendations by Gov. Andy Beshear and the White House in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Beshear said during Monday’s COVID-19 briefing that this recommendation follows federal guidelines in order to help the state reach certain mandated benchmarks provided by the federal government before it will be able to potentially reopen in the future. He said that many states have had to make the same call in closing their schools for the rest of the year, including Ohio, New York and many others.

“Every healthcare professional had advised us that this was the right course of action to take,” Beshear said. “We are asking all of our schools to continue the non-traditional instruction — That’s very helpful for our kids. It gives them an outlet; it keeps them intellectually challenged. — and to keep up the food service as well. This is something that I think our superintendents were expecting and planning on. They’ve provided great leadership, and I know they will continue.”

Beshear addressed the many students that this change will affect, including high school and college seniors who were hoping for an in-person graduation and prom.

“To those seniors, it’s gonna be a little bit harder because it doesn’t look like at this stage we’re gonna be able to have a regular in-person graduation and certainly can’t have an in-person prom. What we’re looking at right now are opportunities to do this virtually or perhaps through some type of drive-in service. And it’s not fair, if you’re watching. It’s not. But a worldwide pandemic has hit us, and those of you who are missing out on these opportunities, we need your help and we need your sacrifice. Ultimately, the experience you’re losing is hard, but your willingness to do it is gonna help us save lives. Regardless of what age you’re at, this shouldn’t have to be asked of you, but it is. This is a time that we’re all called on to do more than maybe we ever thought we could.”

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