NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - Noblesville students who have not had the state-required measles vaccination will not be allowed back into the school buildings until further notice, the schools announced Wednesday.
The Hamilton County Health Department directed the school to make such a move in response to the ongoing measles outbreak in the area. Two Noblesville students have been confirmed to have the very contagious illness.
A clinic was also conducted Wednesday for all staff members at the schools with confirmed cases, Noblesville Intermediate School and White River Elementary School. The immunization status of about 250 teachers and staff members was checked.
Those born before 1957 are considered to have natural immunity, because they lived through several years of epidemic measles before the first vaccine was licensed. Those born later had to provide proof of vaccination. Those who had received a full two-shot series were cleared. Anyone who had only received one vaccination was given a booster Thursday, the school said.
Those who could not prove vaccination had blood drawn to be tested for measles, and also received a vaccination shot Wednesday, except for women who were pregnant or trying to become pregnant, the school said.
"At this point," said Mark Booth, director of student services, "we don't expect to have to cancel school. Probably the biggest decision we have going forward is, when we get those test results back tonight, we have to have enough teachers to keep the school building open?"
A vaccination clinic will also be conducted Thursday at White River Elementary and at Noblesville Intermediate, mainly to provide the second booster vaccinations to those students who have only had one shot. The school said 21 preschool-aged kids are in that group, and seven students in kindergarten through seventh grade are in that group. At NIS, 26 students without both vaccinations could be affected by the ban from the building.
The school also noted that only about five students have a religious exemption on file with the school, and they would not be allowed to return to school until further notice.
The school also canceled all activities Wednesday evening as a precautionary measure.
This comes after a note was sent to parents on Monday telling parents of a possible case of measles . The school system at the time said the school building had been thoroughly cleaned. Then on Wednesday, the more drastic action of barring non-vaccinated students was taken after direction from the county Health Department.
A neighboring Hamilton County school system sent out a notice to parents outlining procedures that would be followed in the event that a case is confirmed there - which has not happened yet.
"One confirmed case in a school setting constitutes an outbreak and will trigger outbreak procedures as designated by the state and local health department," the memo from Carmel Clay Schools reads.
In such a case, the Carmel school system said, all staff and students who cannot provide proof of immunity will not be allowed to attend work or school until such documentation is provided. Those who remain unvaccinated will be barred from work or school for 21 days after the last measles case is identified, as required by the state Health Department, the memo says.
If you have concerns or questions about the measles outbreak - which is now up to 13 cases, according to the state Department of Health - you can call a state hotline, 1-877-826-0011 between 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Immunization status cannot be verified through this hotline.
If you think you or a family member may have measles symptoms, or you need to verify your immunization status, contact your family physician.
As it stands Wednesday, there will be no FEMA aid for tornado survivors in Howard County.
We reached out to school systems across Central Indiana to see what their policy is for delaying or closing school when temperatures drop.
About 130 Indiana National Guard Soldiers returned home Wednesday to friends and family after nearly a year in Afghanistan.