By Peg McRoy Glover
In response to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases reported in Hendricks County the past two weeks, the Avon School Corporation changed its COVID-19 face mask protocol from recommended to mandatory for all students and staff Dec. 9.
This increase has put the county into level red status two consecutive weeks, indicating the county has a very high positivity and spread rate.
The school’s mask protocol was put into place prior to the start of this academic year stipulating that the face mask requirement would be put back into place if the county remained at a red level status for two consecutive weeks or if 10% of the student body was in quarantine.
The highest level of quarantine rate within a school, as posted on the school’s website, is 1.81% at White Oak Elementary.
“We will continue to keep a close eye on the percentages of students quarantined in each of our schools and on the positivity rate in Hendricks County,” said Kevin Carr, communications coordinator for Avon schools. “We will adjust based upon the COVID-19 protocols listed https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm. Our priorities are to keep students and employees safe and to keep schools open for in-person learning.”
According to the Indiana COVID-19 Data Report on the IN.gov website Dec. 9, Hendricks County reported a seven-day increase of 439 new cases resulting in a 15.75% positivity rate. Indiana reported 5,513 new cases from Nov. 30-Dec. 8, reflecting a 14.5% positivity rate and 41 new deaths.
Scott Wyndham, superintendent of Avon Schools, said that the hope is that the mask requirement will have the same effect as it did last year in reducing the number of cases. It is also anticipated that mask wearing will also limit the number of students needing to be quarantined.
The mask requirement will remain in effect until the county is put at an orange status level for two consecutive weeks. Orange level indicated a medium to high community spread.
Updated Indiana and Hendricks County COVID-19 reports can be accessed at http://avon-schools.org/covid