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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: 1012606

Reported Deaths: 16567
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1360682133
Lake667261170
Allen58341804
Hamilton46545468
St. Joseph44627619
Elkhart36101512
Vanderburgh32358482
Tippecanoe28053261
Johnson25224447
Hendricks23977362
Porter23018367
Madison18848412
Clark18640254
Vigo17562304
Monroe15340199
LaPorte15249252
Delaware15135264
Howard14839292
Kosciusko12433149
Hancock11788177
Bartholomew11712180
Warrick11314188
Floyd11149216
Wayne11036254
Grant10159220
Morgan9512178
Boone8976116
Dubois8291132
Henry8265155
Dearborn824793
Noble8075106
Marshall7995135
Cass7569123
Lawrence7494172
Shelby7236117
Jackson701990
Gibson6621115
Harrison653293
Huntington6456100
Knox6429107
DeKalb6375102
Montgomery6304112
Miami596298
Putnam584879
Clinton579772
Whitley569756
Steuben568677
Jasper537681
Wabash5372104
Jefferson513997
Ripley502587
Adams484876
Daviess4692115
Scott440576
Greene428496
Clay427760
Wells426388
White421365
Decatur4182105
Fayette407587
Jennings390763
Posey377944
LaGrange362779
Washington360551
Randolph348199
Spencer341243
Fountain337060
Sullivan331252
Starke319871
Owen316271
Fulton315868
Orange295564
Jay286446
Franklin266743
Perry265852
Rush264432
Carroll262534
Vermillion260554
Parke232429
Pike229744
Tipton229359
Blackford195143
Pulaski184757
Newton160448
Crawford160226
Benton151417
Brown147547
Martin139819
Switzerland135611
Warren121416
Union107316
Ohio85013
Unassigned0545

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