Avon schools close for two weeks after elementary student tests positive for COVID-19; second student showing symptoms; H.C. Health Department: ‘Prepare, be safe, but we really don’t need to panic’
By Lindsay Doty
The Avon Community School Corporation announced Monday it will close schools for two weeks and cancel all extra-curricular activities and practices after a student at Hickory Elementary tested positive for COVID-19 and second Avon student started displaying symptoms on Sunday.
Flanked by, local and state health and school officials, Avon Community Schools Corporation Superintendent, Dr. Maggie Hoernemann addresses the mediaduring a joint press conference, regarding the closing of all ACSC schools due to a Hickory Elementary testing positive for COVID-19. A second Avon student also displayed symptoms on Sunday. (Photo by Eric Pritchett)
The district was notified by the Hendricks County Health Department about the situation over the weekend.
According to district leaders, the students were not displaying symptoms last week.
“The Hendricks County Health Department and Avon Community Schools are working closely to determine the web of individuals who have had direct contact with the two students and that web has grown very large,” said ACSC Superintendent, Dr. Maggie Hoernemann.
“While the CDC indicates that exposure to someone with COVID-19 is only an issue if the individual is already symptomatic, which the students were not last week, we still want to take the most prudent course of action.”
The district will operate on an e-learning schedule while the staff continues to sanitize and clean buses. All schools will be closed through Friday, March 20 – students and staff will return to their respective schools following spring break on Monday, April 6.
The Indiana State Department of Health, Hendricks County Health Department, along with district leaders held a joint press conference on Monday to address COVID-19 questions. State health officials say Hendricks County’s confirmed the patient is stable and isolated. The Indiana State Department of Health has tested 30 people in Indiana for the virus and had 4 positives.
Hendricks County continues to work with the state to monitor exposure.
“I really just want us to not panic, prepare, wipe down surfaces and everything is going to be okay,” said Hendricks County Health Officer Dr. David Stopperich. “I think the biggest message I want to tell the community of Hendricks County is we need to prepare, be safe, but we really don’t need to panic,” he said, reminding community members to practice the basics, like good handwashing.
“It’s simple: We wash our hands, we wipe down surfaces with very simple cleaners and we just take basic precautions,” he said.
State health leaders stress to Avon school families to socially distance themselves.
“This is not a spring break where everyone runs and goes to movies or mall, goes to the theatre, and whatever museum,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner, Dr. Kris Box. “… if we are going to have these individuals social distance (that) means you go home,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner, Dr. Kris Box. Box said 80 percent of cases of the virus are mild.
If you are showing symptoms of the virus or believe you have been exposed, health leaders say to call your doctor.
ACSC will continue to provide meals to students who need them. Families can pick up to-go meals for students in the parking lots of Cedar Elementary and Avon Middle School on Tuesday, March 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. or at the administration office from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The ICON will continue to follow this story.