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Avon schools closed 2 weeks as 2nd student displays symptoms of coronavirus

Avon schools, health officials discuss COVID-19

AVON, Ind. (WISH) — All schools in Avon Community School Corporation will be closed for two weeks after officials Monday said a second child was showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Late Sunday night, the district announced a child who attends Hickory Elementary School in Avon had tested positive for coronavirus, marking the third person to test positive in Indiana.

Superintendent Maggie Hoernemann in a Monday press conference said a second student was displaying symptoms of coronavirus. The district was working to determine the web of individuals that could be affected, which has grown very large, Hoernemann said.

Avon schools closed 2 weeks as 2nd student displays symptoms of coronavirus

As a result, all 12 district schools will be closed until Friday, March 20 to minimize exposure and allow time for school buildings and buses to be cleaned. Spring break for the district begins March 23 and ends April 3.

School custodians last week “stepped up” their cleaning, using the same antiviral cleaners used by hospitals in Hendricks County.

The school will cancel all extracurricular activities, practices and school events.

The school will have e-learning days the entire two-week period and will not add makeup days to the academic calendar. Families that need an alternative to e-learning can request a learning packet for their child or children, Hoernemann said in the press conference.

The latest on Avon Schools and the coronavirus

The decision is forcing parents to make alternative plans for their children. Joyce Zimmerman said, “(Parents are) probably a little stressed. They have to find childcare and they have to be concerned if their child was close to the ones that were infected.”

“I feel like if the health department is concerned and the school corporations are concerns then it just makes me more conscious of taking the basic precautions to make sure the kids don’t get sick and we don’t get sick,” said parent Katy Beringer.

The district’s food services will provide to-go meal options, as many families rely on the schools’ breakfasts and lunches. Cold meal packages will be available and will include 10 breakfasts, lunches and meals. Families can pick up those meal packets from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday in the parking lots of two schools: Cedar Elementary, 685 S. Avon Avenue, and Avon Middle School North, 1251 Dan Jones Rd. The packages will also be available at the Avon Administration Building from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents will need to sign in with their name, their student’s name and the school building. Parents are asked to limit themselves to one packet per school-aged child, Hoernemann said.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Kris Box during the press conference gave an update on cases of coronavirus in the state.

Three adults and one child have tested positive for coronavirus in the state, out of 30 people who have been tested.

The first case, a person in Marion County, had traveled to Boston in late February for a BioGen conference, as had the second case, a person in Hendricks County who has self-quarantined.

The third case is the student from Avon, who is isolated at home. The student who is showing symptoms of coronavirus began showing those signs on Sunday, Box said.

Tammy Campfield told News 8 that her daughter attends Hickory Elementary and was shocked to receive a call from the district.

“Here at Avon Schools there’s not really much to shut the schools down so this really surprised me,” said Campfield.

Box reminded Avon families that students needed to practice “social distance” and spend time at home, rather than in public places. She said that she understood some parents had critical jobs and that some neighbors may watch children together but that four to six children is different than “a group of 450 kids all eating lunch together and going to the same classroom.”

Avon schools, health officials discuss COVID-19