Indiana officials maintain it’s ‘safe’ for schools to reopen

With no state mandates for if or how schools should reopen — or benchmarks for what would require them to shut back down as confirmed cases of the virus increase — Gov. Eric Holcomb re-emphasized 'confidence' in local leaders to decide what’s best for their districts.

Posted: Aug 6, 2020 10:58 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state officials defended brick-and-mortar school re-openings Wednesday despite mounting reports of students and education staff testing positive for the coronavirus since returning to school statewide.

With no state mandates for if or how schools should reopen — or benchmarks for what would require them to shut back down as confirmed cases of the virus increase — the Republican governor re-emphasized “confidence” in local leaders to decide what’s best for their districts.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, added that she “continue(s) to believe that our schools can safely reopen.”

She cited improved testing and hospital capacity as helpful safeguards, along with wearing masks, hand-washing and social distancing.

Box also stressed the importance of staying home when sick or awaiting test results, noting that the best way to prevent a spread is “for everyone to do their part and know when to stay home.”

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“Having a case of COVID at a school should not be a cause for panic or a reason to close. It’s a reason to take action to prevent an outbreak,” Box said. “But this does not mean that our schools will be free of COVID.”

When it comes to transparency about positive coronavirus cases within schools, Box said she supports releasing data in a dashboard format, similar to what the state does for nursing homes.

She wouldn’t commit to releasing that information, however, due to concerns about violating privacy laws.

ABSENTEE VOTING

After two former Indiana lieutenant governors called for Holcomb to expand mail-in voting as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the governor also maintained Wednesday that in-person voting for the November election is safe.

“Folks need to understand that it is safe to vote,” he said. “There are a lot of people out and about ... they’re doing it safely, and we can vote safely in person, as well.”

Holcomb shot down claims that pressure from President Donald Trump or concerns about voter fraud are holding him back from expanding voting options.

Instead, Holcomb said that before deciding otherwise, he wants to make sure that local election offices can handle the increased volume of mail-in ballots they would receive and that election results would not be delayed if all Hoosiers are given the option to vote by mail for the General Election.

He added that he’s also waiting for a federal judge to issue an opinion on a lawsuit filed in April, which argues that the state’s election law allowing some — but not all — registered voters to vote by mail violates the Constitution.

He anticipates the decision will come down around Labor Day.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111505

Reported Deaths: 3506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20699758
Lake10217318
Elkhart6368109
St. Joseph604597
Allen5965200
Hamilton4676109
Vanderburgh334129
Hendricks2650122
Monroe240836
Johnson2257122
Tippecanoe221013
Clark211756
Porter205244
Cass19319
Delaware187061
Vigo176622
Madison157775
LaPorte136737
Floyd130361
Howard127563
Kosciusko119017
Bartholomew114957
Warrick114135
Marshall98524
Dubois94918
Boone94446
Hancock90542
Grant88233
Noble88132
Henry76324
Wayne73914
Jackson7349
Morgan69638
Shelby66529
Daviess64127
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62628
Clinton59112
Harrison56024
Putnam5329
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50328
Knox4869
White47914
Gibson4744
Decatur45339
DeKalb45011
Miami4243
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3822
Steuben3677
Scott35310
Sullivan32912
Jennings30912
Posey3020
Franklin29725
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll27013
Wabash2638
Washington2581
Whitley2526
Starke2517
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2352
Huntington2213
Spencer2194
Tipton21722
Perry20913
Randolph2067
Jay1700
Newton17011
Owen1641
Martin1620
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1152
Pulaski1141
Blackford1132
Crawford1030
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 144309

Reported Deaths: 4615
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25977603
Cuyahoga17092642
Hamilton12756308
Montgomery7501152
Lucas7119357
Butler563299
Summit5096249
Marion306347
Mahoning2991279
Warren291048
Stark2739168
Pickaway263344
Lorain226386
Delaware213520
Fairfield202050
Columbiana191980
Licking185762
Trumbull1848131
Clark172338
Wood170671
Clermont162620
Lake157649
Medina143038
Allen136767
Greene135228
Miami135049
Portage107466
Mercer105317
Tuscarawas91220
Wayne90166
Erie89944
Ross85622
Richland78419
Madison78012
Darke76039
Belmont70727
Geauga70347
Hancock6579
Ashtabula64348
Athens5972
Lawrence59418
Shelby5819
Auglaize5659
Sandusky55420
Putnam54123
Huron5237
Union4932
Ottawa46530
Scioto4646
Seneca43914
Preble42013
Holmes3717
Muskingum3712
Jefferson3184
Henry29712
Champaign2933
Logan2933
Perry2859
Defiance28110
Clinton27813
Knox27815
Brown2752
Hardin25013
Morrow2492
Washington24823
Fulton2341
Jackson2314
Coshocton23011
Fayette2256
Ashland2234
Highland2203
Crawford2186
Wyandot20112
Williams1983
Gallia18012
Meigs1729
Hocking1619
Pike1580
Guernsey1567
Carroll1507
Adams1214
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison611
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble270
Unassigned00
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