NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Noblesville East Middle School will move to virtual classes Tuesday after more than 60 positive COVID-19 cases and 200 quarantined students since the beginning of school.
In a letter to families, Noblesville Schools said 20% of the middle school’s population is currently absent due to illness, including 50 COVID-19 cases reported last week and another 12 on Monday. The 20% of students missing class does include students with illnesses other than COVID-19 but does not account for students who had close contact with people who tested positive, the school district said Monday.
Two teams of students, with about 100 students each, were quarantined earlier this month, the district said.
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Noblesville East Middle is the only school in the district moving to virtual learning on Tuesday, the district said, saying, “the spike of illness NEMS is currently experiencing is significant, rapidly spreading, and like nothing we’ve ever seen before.”
The middle school’s athletics and other after-school activities are canceled through Aug. 31, the district said.
The two teams of students who were quarantined earlier in August — Wake Forest and DePauw — will return to school Aug. 26 and Aug. 30, respectively. Other students will return to school Aug. 31, the district said.
Noblesville schools went back to class Aug. 3. Masks were initially optional for students, staff and visitors, but the district changed the policy Aug. 13, requiring masks for all people inside. At the time of the mask policy change, the district said Noblesville East and one elementary school classroom had experienced “three major outbreaks that required us to disrupt learning for hundreds of students.” The message also said unvaccinated people are visiting the schools and spreading the coronavirus to unvaccinated and vaccinated people.
Bandannas are not considered to be acceptable for use as masks, and face shields will only be used by select staff and students in specific, approved situations.
The district also encouraged people to get vaccinated. The district will have an immunization clinic with the Pfizer vaccine from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday for students and adults 12 and older. The clinic will be at Noblesville Schools Community Center, 1775 Field Drive. People can sign up online for the clinic.