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Schools monitoring post-holiday surge of COVID-19

Officials are hoping a period of remote learning to start the spring semester will keep the virus out of local schools.

Posted: Jan 4, 2021 3:16 PM
Updated: Jan 4, 2021 6:30 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Schools are monitoring a possible surge of COVID-19 cases after a busy holiday travel season and break.

And officials are hoping a period of remote learning to start the spring semester will keep the virus out of local schools.

Students at Tippecanoe School Corp. will learn remotely until at least Jan. 19, while students at Lafayette School Corp. will return for in-person learning as soon as Jan. 11.

West Lafayette Community School Corp. does not have plans for district-wide remote learning when classes resume Jan. 7. That's because the district's COVID-19 numbers are lower than surrounding schools', according to a statement from WLCSC Superintendent Rocky Killion.

But like other local school districts, WLCSC is offering a full-time e-learning option for students this semester.

TSC Superintendent Scott Hanback says the remote learning period will offset a possible holiday surge similar to what he saw after Thanksgiving.

"Really the main concern at that time and potentially could be going forward is just a large number of students and staff who end up in a quarantine situation," he says. 

As News 18 previously reported, local schools struggled to fill open spots for substitute teachers, bus drivers and food service workers last semester due to a high number of employees who were COVID-19-positive or were close contacts.

"I think this two-week remote period is going to allow that, maybe, post-holiday, Christmas and New Year surge to kind of calm down a little bit," Hanback says. 

LSC Les Huddle says the data are clear: Cases of COVID-19 and quarantines rise at local schools after breaks.

"After Labor Day, we had it again after fall break and we had it once again after Thanksgiving holiday, so the data tells us to expect something after the Christmas and New Year's break here," he says.

Hanback says he's optimistic about the spring semester and the prospects of vaccination for his staff.

"That's going to be a positive for our schools and our staff will be sort of next in line, I guess, as far as the vaccine goes," he says. 

That means schools could finally return to normal but probably not in time for the end of the school year, Huddle says. 

"And if anyone wants to look deeper into the crystal ball for next year, it's a wait and see," he says. 

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 611039

Reported Deaths: 9716
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion844351336
Lake45508685
Allen32891552
Hamilton29546315
St. Joseph27449381
Elkhart24440345
Vanderburgh19513250
Tippecanoe18043140
Johnson15140295
Porter14865169
Hendricks14440248
Madison11009222
Vigo10769181
Clark10731144
Monroe9424113
Delaware9152134
LaPorte9103164
Howard8268144
Kosciusko808983
Warrick676599
Hancock6741104
Bartholomew6523100
Floyd6469110
Wayne6157162
Grant6011116
Dubois556980
Boone554668
Morgan545795
Henry509764
Marshall505384
Cass485264
Dearborn483245
Noble474059
Jackson426747
Shelby419581
Lawrence392980
Clinton374243
Gibson372559
Harrison350945
DeKalb348264
Montgomery346554
Knox335839
Miami323044
Steuben314545
Whitley309726
Wabash304551
Adams302136
Ripley300046
Putnam297850
Huntington293159
Jasper290534
White274143
Daviess271274
Jefferson264738
Decatur248983
Fayette247848
Greene241162
Posey240328
Wells236451
LaGrange229662
Scott225739
Clay223532
Randolph214948
Jennings199336
Sullivan192933
Spencer192422
Washington187523
Fountain184627
Starke175643
Jay168223
Owen166837
Fulton164230
Orange160835
Carroll159115
Rush155818
Perry155229
Vermillion149334
Franklin149033
Tipton133033
Parke13088
Pike118226
Blackford111422
Pulaski97337
Newton91721
Brown88235
Benton86910
Crawford8069
Martin74413
Warren6857
Switzerland6665
Union6287
Ohio4957
Unassigned0376

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