GREENFIELD, IN — An Indiana junior high student has tested positive for COVID-19 on the first day of school. It happened at Greenfield Central Junior High Schools where Administrators say the student attended classes for the first part of the day on Thursday.
“We understand that this information will cause concern for some of you,” said Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin. The Superintendent said the school was properly prepared to follow protocols established. “We thank you for your continued cooperation with our request for daily self-screening. Adhering to these protocols is essential for maintaining a safe environment for all students and staff.”
It’s the first day of school!! We can’t wait to see everyone!— GC Junior High (@GCJHS_principal) July 30, 2020
The Greenfield School District has pushed for self-screening among parents and cited a lack of staff in their return to school plan as the reasoning for the measure. No screening is conducted at the schools, according to their return to school plan.
“Most districts/schools do not have enough staff and equipment to screen temperatures as students and staff are entering the building and/or 10 loading buses, and there is a shortage of accurate, touch-free thermometers and other medical devices to conduct the screenings.” IN-CLASS Re-entry Guidance says. The guidance goes on to state students, employees and visitors will have temperatures taken on a random basis.
“This is a bump in the road in our reentry process we were not counting on,” the superintendent said. “But we have protocols in place for positive cases.”
Protocols include dismissing students and staff for 2-5 days, communications with parents, teachers and students and disinfecting procedures, according to the IN-CLASS documentation which references the CDC’s guidance for schools plan for positive students.
Across the IL-IN line in Bourbonnais, BBCHS Director of Library/Communication Teacher Michael Dorsam weighed in on the risks of a return to school earlier this morning, saying “As safe as we think we can make it, we’re wrong.”
There is not a single good reason to open schools in August when the risks are so great. As safe as we think we can make it, we’re wrong. Let’s be patient, get better at distance learning, start that after Labor Day, then phase in possible openings when numbers are much lower.— Mike Dorsam (@MrDorsam) July 31, 2020
As of Thursday night, 60 school aged children had tested positive for COVID-19 in Kankakee County in July. That’s twice as many the number of student age children that tested positive in June, when 29 were announced by the Kankakee County Health Department.