Monroe County OKs mask mandate for fully vaccinated starting Aug. 5, Indiana University also says “mask up”

Face coverings will now be required in public indoor settings, even for Monroe County residents who are fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

That’s the basic point of a new health order approved unanimously by Monroe County’s three commissioners at their regular meeting on Wednesday morning.

The order approved by commissioners is effective at 8 a.m. Thursday (Aug. 5) and extends through Sept. 30. [Monroe County health department news release]

The Monroe County health order comes after last week’s new guidance on mask-wearing for the fully vaccinated from the Centers for Disease Control. The guidance applies to counties where there is “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus. That’s a criterion that currently applies to Monroe County.

Not under the county’s jurisdiction, but also following the CDC’s new guidance on masks, is Indiana University.

IU’s public health officer, Aaron Carroll, stated during a noon video conference that the university would also be telling people to mask up in public spaces “for the near future.” Continue reading “Monroe County OKs mask mandate for fully vaccinated starting Aug. 5, Indiana University also says “mask up””

Start for MCSCC students delayed until Aug. 12, online-only at first

On Tuesday night, the board of the Monroe County Community School Corporation voted unanimously  to accept revisions to the district’s re-opening plan proposed by superintendent Judith DeMuth.

cropped MCCSC board meeting Screen Shot 2020-07-28 at 6.38.22 PM
Screenshot of the MCCSC board meeting of July 28, 2020

A resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the country, state and local region, has led to concerns about the safety of students, teachers and staff.

Highlights of the revisions include a delay to the start for students until Aug. 12.

At that point, instruction will be online-only—at least to start. A re-evaluation of the situation will be done by Sept. 11. Families will get a week’s notice before a change from online instruction.

Teachers will start Aug. 5 and use the time from then until Aug. 12 to prepare for online-only instruction. Continue reading “Start for MCSCC students delayed until Aug. 12, online-only at first”

MCCSC board expected to finalize school re-opening plan at Tuesday night’s board meeting

On Monday morning, a half dozen people showed up at the Monroe County health department’s temporary location in the Showers building on Morton Street.

They held signs with slogans like, “Shut it down, now! Start over! Do it right!” They were  advocating for a stronger statement from health officials on the question of re-opening schools.

They’re concerned about a start to the school year amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the area, and across the state.

News reporters narrowly outnumbered demonstrators. Organizer Debbie Fish, a former teacher and educational professional, said she expects a stronger continent at a rally planned for Tuesday at the district’s education resource center on Miller Drive.

That’s where the board will be meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, partly in-person and partly by videoconference.

Fish said she is concerned that if schools start up now, and teachers have to go back into the classroom, some will take the semester off. There may be some who will just quit the profession of teaching, Fish fears.

Early in the meeting, the agenda for Tuesday includes a re-entry plan overview by superintendent Judith DeMuth and a board discussion with possible modifications. A resolution on adopting a plan for re-opening schools is the final point of business, after a dozen other business items.

The meeting will be live-streamed at www.mccsc.edu/boardmeeting

The board’s Tuesday decision is expected to be based on potential additional information presented by the teachers union and the county health health department. Continue reading “MCCSC board expected to finalize school re-opening plan at Tuesday night’s board meeting”