Coronavirus

Marion County families prepare for virtual learning, again

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Under the new restrictions announced by the Marion County Public Health Department on Thursday, all schools are required to go virtual by Nov. 30.

So far News 8 has heard from Indianapolis Public Schools, Wayne Township and Lawrence Township.

Wayne will move to virtual on Monday, Nov. 16, and IPS and Lawrence township will both go virtual on Monday, Nov. 23.

Most of the districts have not released transition plans; officials at IPS say families will learn more in the next 24 hours.

The pressure is on from the Marion County Public Health Department, Dr. Virginia Caine calling the numbers in schools concerning.

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“We did a fantastic job from mid-August up to this point, but these last two weeks we’ve seen a substantial increase,” said Caine.

She said from mid-October to early November, cases in schools nearly tripled.

“We think it’s safe if you’re able to have a positivity rate less than 5 percent over a 2 to 3 week period along with newly formed cases a day, and we see now that when we look at all ages, we have a positivity rate of 12 percent,” Caine explained.

For parent Eileen Walthall, the question was never if her kids would come back home, but when. Even so, she said it doesn’t make planning any easier.

“It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be really hard going home. Especially for families that are essential and can’t be there for their kids,” said Walthall.

She understands for numbers to stay low, it’s going to take everyone and if that means keeping her kids home a little longer, she said she’s willing.

“Hopefully we can all work together and make ourselves get back to normal as soon as possible,” said Walthall.

These closures will last into the new year. The order requires schools to be virtual until at least Jan. 15, but Wayne Township plans to stay remote until January 20.

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