DECATUR COUNTY – Decatur County’s public schools are temporarily closing because of an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported locally.

An alert on Greensburg Community School Corporation’s website (http://www.greensburg.k12.in.us) states: “STARTING NOV. 2, 2020 GCS WILL BEGIN ELEARNING. Greensburg Community Schools will begin Online Learning Nov. 2, 2020. Our student learning will take place online ... from November 2, 2020 to November 13, 2020. We will return for in-school learning on Monday, November 16, 2020.”

Decatur County Community School’s Superintendent Jarrod Burns distributed an email Friday morning stating:

“I want to inform all families that Decatur County Community Schools, along with all other schools in Decatur County, will be on a 2 week closure starting on Monday, November 2, 2020 through Friday, November 13, 2020 due to significant COVID-19 spread throughout Decatur County. All students will return to school in person starting Monday, November 16, 2020.

“During the next two weeks, Decatur County Community Schools will switch to 100% virtual instruction. Students will be able to contact their teachers and have access to assignments via Canvas or See Saw depending on their grade level. Please know our local Wi-Fi hotspots are available to use for connectivity, and there will be limited computer lab availability at each school for anyone without internet. If you have any connectivity questions please contact: elearning@decaturco.k12.in.us

“All sports practices and games, along with academic practices and competitions, will go on as planned for the time being. Please stay in contact with your coaches in the event these activities may be cancelled in the future.”

Temporarily closing local school buildings was done following a recommendation from Decatur County Health Officer Dr. Arthur Alunday.

A letter he sent to local school administrators states that due to the dramatic increases in SARS-CoV-2 cases in Decatur County, the Decatur County Health Department recommends that all schools in Decatur County close to students for two weeks.

The letter continues:

“The goal is to reduce the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in the student community and the community as a whole. This will also eliminate the overwhelming contact tracing that your staffs are conducting. This department realizes the impact this can have on schools and the transition to virtual learning is difficult but believe the benefits outweigh those issues in regard to the public health of Decatur County citizens.

“The goal is to eliminate the student presence in the school. With this in mind, extracurricular activities, sports practices, and computer access for students with no or poor internet should be continued if they can be done with proper social distancing and mask wearing. It is your discretion to allow other activities that keep in the spirit of those activities.”

Questions about the closures should be directed to your child’s school.

Yellow Alert

Meanwhile, Decatur County has been elevated to a level yellow on the Indiana Department of Health’s County Metric’s map. This map can be located at https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm

Due to the rise in positive cases and to control the spread of COVID-19 in Decatur County, Dr. Alunday is requiring events with over 50 attendees to submit event plans to the Decatur County Health Department.

This requirement takes effect Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

• Event plans can be submitted to DCHD@decaturcounty.in.gov

• Event plan submission forms can be requested by calling 812-663-8301.

• Event plans will be required to address control measures in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the event.

• Event plans will be required to be submitted at a minimum of 14 days prior to the event.

The Decatur County Health Department will continue to provide updates to the community, and reminds all citizens to practice public health precautions of social distancing, masking up, avoid mass gatherings, and to wash hands frequently.

COVID-19 is not isolated to one specific jurisdiction and is prevalent throughout the entire county, state, nation and globally.

Visit the Decatur County Health Department on Facebook, the IDOH website at www.in.gov/coronavirus and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19

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