Vermillion County schools make adjustments following surge of COVID-19 cases in the community

Schools in Vermillion County are making adjustments. Local officials say this is a result of a surge of COVID-19 cases in the county.

Posted: Oct 20, 2020 6:53 PM

VERMILLION COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Schools in Vermillion County are making adjustments. Local officials say this is a result of a surge of COVID-19 cases in the county.

The Vermillion County Health Department alerted county schools that they would be moving to a “red” county on Wednesday. This is because Vermillion County had more than 10% of positivity rates in the last week. News 10 spoke with the Vermillion County Health Department on Tuesday to get more information.

Previously, Vermillion County was designated a “yellow” county signifying a “moderate” spread. The health department says the reason the county skipped the “orange” zone and will go straight to red is due to a “major uptick in cases over the past month”.

According to the Vermillion County Health Department, they’ve seen 45 new cases since October 6th. They say family circles seem to be the cause of the surge along with more testing being done.

The health department recommended that schools in the county should move to e-learning, however, Superintendent for the North Vermillion School Corporation Dan Nelson says school numbers are looking good.

“The school numbers—there’s no correlation because we have very few cases in our school and we have very few quarantined kids in our school at this particular time,” Nelson said, “The other thing we really look at is we’ve had zero spread from those cases from kid to kid or to adults.”

As aforementioned, the Vermillion County Health Department did advise that all schools in the district move to e-learning. South Vermillion Schools will do just that.

Superintendent of South Vermillion Schools Dave Chapman sent News 10 a statement that reads in part:
“After consultation with the Vermillion County Health Department, it has been determined that beginning Wednesday, October 21, 2020, all SVCS schools will move to e-learning status due to the substantial spread of the Coronavirus in our community. SVCS will move to the “red” stage of our re-entry plan through Tuesday, October 27, 2020 unless it is deemed necessary to remain at that level.”

Nelson says that North Vermillion Schools will not be moving to e-learning following the news. He says the school corporation has done an excellent job enforcing their protocols and being in school provides the best education for students. They will, however, pay close attention to the COVID-19 situation in the county.

“We will continue to monitor the county. We will continue to monitor the schools. If we see a spike in numbers in the schools or in the county, we will look to re-evaluate,” Nelson concluded, “However, that evaluation may not be going to total e-learning. It may be a hybrid model. We are going to do everything we can do to keep kids in school.”

Nelson says they do provide a virtual option that students can do as well. For now, he says they feel comfortable continuing in-person schooling business as usual.

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