The outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19, is being monitored by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). First identified in the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province, it continues to infect people in that country and around the world, including the United States.
Close to home, the ISDH on March 6 confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in a Hoosier. As of March 10, there have been 10 positive cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Indiana.
Students in the Gary Community School Corporation received a letter on March 10 reassuring parents of efforts by the district to contain the virus.
The letter said the district is working closely with the Health Department, Police Department, emergency responders, and Methodist Hospital to review and update emergency preparedness plans.
The Gary Community School Corporation also advised parents, “school nurses are proactively monitoring students and staff who show any signs or symptoms of an infectious illness.”
The correspondence noted as well that preventative measures such as deep cleaning classrooms, disinfecting common areas and frequent hand washing are also being employed.
Teachers in GCSC have been asked to prepare student work packets in the event there is a need to close schools. Students will be expected to complete the packets for grading when schools reopen, if there is a closure.
There are currently no reported cases of COVID-19 at GCSC.
Statewide, the ISDH is working with federal and local agencies to respond to the ongoing public health event.
The ISDH on its website March 11 said according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the risk for infection in the U. S. is low as the virus has had limited person to person spread in the U.S. at this time.
Call the ISDH epidemiology Resource Center at 317-233-7125 (317-233-1325 after hours) if you experience symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath and have a recent history of international travel or contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19.