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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: 708067

Reported Deaths: 13224
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion964881721
Lake51704945
Allen39185672
Hamilton34497405
St. Joseph34075540
Elkhart27306432
Vanderburgh22077394
Tippecanoe21818212
Porter17940299
Johnson17526374
Hendricks16803310
Clark12688190
Madison12350337
Vigo12211244
Monroe11462166
LaPorte11140204
Delaware10356184
Howard9662211
Kosciusko9127114
Hancock7979139
Bartholomew7888155
Warrick7684155
Floyd7560176
Wayne6899198
Grant6842171
Boone6552100
Morgan6395138
Dubois6084117
Marshall5783108
Dearborn570076
Cass5684102
Henry5577100
Noble542483
Jackson493269
Shelby479095
Lawrence4342118
Gibson428789
Harrison428170
Clinton419053
Montgomery417986
DeKalb410984
Whitley379639
Huntington379480
Miami372565
Knox366389
Steuben365257
Putnam352660
Jasper350546
Wabash347778
Adams337952
Ripley334668
Jefferson313180
White308354
Daviess289299
Wells286381
Decatur278992
Fayette277162
Greene270685
Posey268833
Scott261153
Clay253444
LaGrange253070
Randolph235680
Washington230931
Spencer227931
Jennings224747
Fountain208745
Sullivan207842
Starke204352
Owen192256
Fulton191739
Jay186129
Carroll185820
Perry180336
Orange177853
Rush170724
Vermillion166043
Franklin165635
Tipton160943
Parke144616
Blackford133831
Pike130334
Pulaski113645
Newton103934
Brown100140
Crawford97614
Benton97113
Martin82815
Warren79615
Switzerland7698
Union69910
Ohio55811
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