Indiana officials showed no signs Wednesday of slowing
down school reopenings that are just weeks away even as the state has been
seeing higher rates of people testing positive and being hospitalized for
Some Indiana school
districts are poised to resume classes with students in attendance starting
in late July under guidelines issued by state education officials last
will monitor for COVID-19 outbreaks but school decisions will be made
between school leaders and local health departments, said Dr. Kristina Box,
the state health commissioner.
“We are going to do
what we can to try to support schools so that they can stay open,” Box said.
“We think that’s important, not only for the educational experience of our
students but for their mental and their physical health, also.”
schools largely closed their doors in mid-March as coronavirus infections
hit the state, and Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered in early April that schools
remain closed through the end of the school year.
last week week to keep capacity limits in place for restaurants, bars and
entertainment venues until at least July 18 even though deaths have dropped
significantly over the past month.
University said it will require that students be tested before moving into
residence halls or participating in classes. The university will pay for the
recorded 2,732 confirmed or presumed coronavirus-related deaths, as the
state health department added 15 fatalities to the death toll on Wednesday.
seven-day average rate for tests confirming COVID-19 infections had fallen
to 4.1% on June 18, but grew to 5.9% as of July 4, Box said.
hospitalizations with confirmed or suspected infections have gone from 595
on June 26 to 667 as of Wednesday.
Box said health
officials remain concerned about outbreaks in other states and parts of
this, which is why was paused the reopening plan last week and that decision
has been confirmed by the numbers we’ve been experiencing,” Box said.
festival planned for the Indiana State Fairgrounds has been canceled.
The Fairgrounds Fun
Park announced last week was to be operated by the carnival ride company
that was to provide the midway for August’s Indiana State Fair that was
called off in June.
Box said the ride
operator and fairgrounds staff had a thorough safety plan for the July
31-Sept. 7 festival with rides, games and carnival food booths, but that the
organizers decided to cancel after meeting with state health officials.
“While we are
saddened that our event cannot take place, we understand the current
situation and will always put public health and safety as our number one
priority,” North American Midway Entertainment CEO Danny Huston said in a
Box and Holcomb,
however, both supported plans for running the Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23
with 50% fan capacity, a total that could still top 100,000 people at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s 2-1/2 mile oval.
“It is a massive
piece of property, where you can physically distance, where you can mask up
if you are in close proximity to someone,” Holcomb said.