Kosciusko County community leaders using research to analyze COVID-19 impact on return to school

Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:35 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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WARSAW, Ind. (WNDU) - Wednesday’s Parent’s Playbook takes a closer look at how schools in Kosciusko County are navigating uncharted territory when hosting in-person learning during the pandemic.

16 News Now lets us know how schools can tell if their safety precautions are working.

Kosciusko County Health officials are looking at data from the past few weeks to see how schools are handling students being back at school during the pandemic.

Teresa Reed from the Kosciusko County Health Department laid out the 18 positive COVID-19 cases among Kosciusko County students aged preschool to college, spanning the last three weeks of Aug.

“What we wanted to do though was help people understand, we are not out of control and we are paying close attention to this,” Reed said.

Her presentation showed only two positive cases from Aug. 24th-31st, including adults working at Kosciusko County Public Schools.

She says there have been no severe cases, with 10 of the 18 being asymptomatic.

“In the long term these calendars can help lay out a pattern. These are actually some ways I look at what’s happening in the county. You just got it in graphic form,” Reed said.

She showed high school-aged students make up a significantly higher number of the positive cases.

None of the cases could be traced to another case at school, but one third of the cases didn’t have a known source.

Warsaw Community Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hoffert says they’ve limited their positive cases to just 2 among their thousands of students and staff.

“There is no indication of community transmission within Warsaw Community Schools to this point and we firmly believe this is due in large part to the systematic precautionary steps and plans that have implemented inside of our schools,” Dr. Hoffert said.

He says while they continue to work toward the safest in-person learning environments given the conditions, mental health should also be a priority.

“We realize there is the whole child that we are working on as well, and a lot of that deals with social interaction, mental health services and the relationships that are so important inside of our school setting,” he said.

Kosciusko County’s three MedStat facilities and Parkview Hospital in Warsaw continue serve as testing sites funded through CARES act dollars.

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