CHARLESTOWN, Ind. — Schools across Indiana have seen multiple coronavirus cases both in students and employees since starting the 2020-21 school year.
Students at Pleasant Ridge Elementary are quarantining after an employee they came into close contact with tested positive for COVID-19, health officials confirmed. Officials also confirmed a student at Charlestown High School and a person at Charlestown Middle School tested positive after in-person learning resumed.
Rock Creek Community Academy confirmed a high school student tested positive. The school said a parent called to say their student was tested Sunday, attended class Monday, and received confirmation of the positive case Tuesday.
"Rock Creek was notified of a positive Covid-19 case today, all families who have been affected were notified by phone," the school said in a statement. "We will be deep cleaning and sanitizing this evening before students return tomorrow."
School officials said 21 students who were in close contact were contacted, including some student-athletes. Those students will do e-Learning as they quarantine, returning to class Aug. 15.
"I want to emphasize, if anyone in your house is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has been tested and you are waiting on results, DO NOT SEND your child/children to school," one official sent to Rock Creek parents.
In Harrison County, one high school has reported multiple COVID-19 cases. Three seniors at Lanesville Jr-Sr High School tested positive after the school saw its first case on July 30. Lanesville moved to virtual learning Aug. 3 but returned to in-person classes Tuesday. Superintendent Steve Morris said around 50 students are in a 14-day quarantine as a result of contact tracing.
"You hope for the best but anticipate the worst," said Morris. "I think that was our attitude going in, that at some point in time there would be a student with a positive test result and you would have to deal with that. Certainly was not anticipating four within the first week of school but that's the situation."
Despite that, Morris stressed the importance of getting kids back in school.
"It's going to be bumps in the road and it's going to be dealing with situations like this with contact tracing," he said. "I think the important thing overall is getting kids back in school physically and trying to extend that as long as you can."
Outside of southern Indiana, multiple other districts in the state have faced similar issues. Several staff members at a central Indiana school district also tested positive for COVID-19, forcing their district to move to e-Learning the week of Aug. 3.