Keeping students safe during the school year

Coronavirus Watch

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT)– For most Tri-State students the start of a new school year is right around the corner. Some students are nervous about returning to the classroom.

“I get sick every time we go back to school no matter what’s going on,” said Brianna Hardin, a Harrison High School student.

The unknown circumstances surrounding this pandemic is making some people dread going back.

“I want to be present to experience all the fun things that you should get to do as a senior, but classrooms are going to look so different,” explained Hardin. “It’ll just be so strange that I’m not sure whether or not I want to go back for my safety and everybody else’s safety as well,”

Some parents, like Kelly Martin, are trying to get their kids excited to get back into the classroom.

“I don’t want them to be scared or fearful of going to school,” Martin said. “I mean it’s definitely going to be a crazy year. Much different than what we are used to. I just hope that they can stay in school and I hope there’s not too many cases to where we are going to go back to online.” She’s hoping schools have a plan in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department says they have gone over the public and private school’s back to school plan. Ensuring tables are spread out, seats are facing the same direction, and there are assigned seats for every class and lunch.

“They’ve also set up their plans to make sure that if there is a case within a school, all of these schools and students will be safe and there will be limited risk,” said Joe Gries from the Vanderburgh County Health Department.

There is already some concern among parents since the names of students who test positive for COVID-19 can’t be released to the public. This is due to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

The Vanderburgh County Health Department said they are working with the schools, notifying the families who’s child could have been exposed to the virus.

“So those people, if they have not received a phone call. They could consider themselves safe,” said Gries.

The health department said when a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19, everyone who has been within six feet of them for about 15 minutes will also need to quarantine.

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(This story was originally published on Aug. 11, 2020)

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