All schools in Avon Community School Corporation will be closed for two weeks after officials Monday said a second child was showing symptoms of coronavirus.
Late Sunday night, the district announced a child who attends Hickory Elementary School in Avon had tested positive for coronavirus, marking the third person to test positive in Indiana.
Superintendent Maggie Hoernemann, in a Monday press conference, said a second student was displaying symptoms of coronavirus. The district was working to determine the web of individuals that could be affected, which has grown very large, Hoernemann said.
As a result, all 12 district schools will be closed until Friday, March 20, to minimize exposure and allow time for school buildings and buses to be cleaned. Spring break for the district begins March 23 and ends April 3.
School custodians last week “stepped up” their cleaning, using the same antiviral cleaners used by hospitals in Hendricks County.
The school will cancel all extracurricular activities, practices, and school events. The school will have e-learning as is possible through a tool called “Schoology.” Families that need an alternative to e-learning can request a learning packet for their child or children.
The district’s food services will provide to-go meal options, as many families rely on the schools’ breakfasts and lunches. Cold meal packages will be available and will include ten breakfasts, lunches, and meals. Families can pick up those meal packets from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday in the parking lots of two schools: Cedar Elementary, 685 S. Avon Avenue, and Avon Middle School North, 1251 Dan Jones Rd. The packages will also be available at the Avon Administration Building from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents will need to sign in with their name, their student’s name, and the school building. Parents are asked to limit themselves to one packet per school-aged child, Hoernemann said.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box during the press conference gave an update on cases of coronavirus in the state. Three adults and one child have tested positive for coronavirus in the state, out of 30 people who have been tested.
The first case, a person in Marion County, had traveled to Boston in late February for a BioGen conference, as had the second case, a person in Hendricks County who has self-quarantined.
The third case is the student from Avon, who is isolated at home. The student who is showing symptoms of coronavirus began showing those signs on Sunday, Box said.
A fourth case, announced in the Monday press conference, is a person in Noble County who is hospitalized, Box said.
The state is monitoring people who are considered to be at higher risk, and those people are on home quarantine, Box said.
“It starts with an individual may be that flew back, say, from Boston and was exposed there. So what flight did they fly on? And we get that information to the CDC. Then the CDC gets information back to us about individuals that live in our communities that sat within a certain radius of that individual who became ill. Those are people that we’re following up. If we have a particular case, we’re going, ‘Where were you, pretty much every minute of the day?’ … so that we can start to trace back close contacts of that individual. Again, this is usually spread with someone that you came into contact with 6 feet, not just for a brief period of time but a protracted period of time. And then we reach out to those individuals to make sure they know they may have been exposed. If those individuals potentially develop symptoms, how they can reach us to facilitate medical care,” Box said.
Box reminded Avon families that students needed to practice “social distance” and spend time at home rather than in public places. She said that she understood some parents had critical jobs and that some neighbors may watch children together but that four to six children are different than “a group of 450 kids all eating lunch together and going to the same classroom.”
She also suggested that anyone who is ill practice social distance, especially those who are at higher risk. Box discouraged people who are sick from visiting any kind of long-term care facilities as well.
The state hotline is being staffed by ten people from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. and then staffed by another group from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., Box said and will use IU Health’s telehealth services.
Anyone who experiences symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, has a recent history of travel to China, or has had contact with someone suspected of having coronavirus is asked to call the ISDH Epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 or call 317-233-1325 after hours. You can also email email@example.com.
This article was initially featured on www.wishtv.com.