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Lawmaker urges state to track, publish COVID-19 cases in schools

Posted at 4:10 PM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 19:29:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — A state lawmaker is urging the Indiana State Department of Health to track and publish COVID-19 information for schools.

As many school districts are deciding when and how to go back to class, Rep. Ed Delaney (D-Indianapolis) says the state should collect where teachers, school staff and students have tested positive for the virus.

Delaney says ISDH should post the information on its dashboard so that families can stay educated on COVID-19 in Indiana schools.

"The rumor mills are going to be spectacular the first time a kid or teacher has a positive test, but that information is never fully reliable or accurate,” said Delaney. “I hope that we are ahead of the grapevine so we don't have rumors and bad information."

The state agreed on July 1 to publish nursing home deaths and cases, broken down by facility, from March 1 to July 14 and will soon create a dashboard that will continually update nursing home numbers.

“I hope we do better with schools,” said Delaney. “So far, I’m not too encouraged.”

Delaney said the state should break down school information by the specific building, not just by school district.

“We have well over 1,000 school buildings,” said Delaney. “We have a right to know what’s going on in the places we pay for in our taxes. There is no happy data in this crisis.”

Call 6 Investigates reached out to the Indiana State Department of Health and the Governor’s office to find out if they have plans to track COVID-19 cases and deaths in schools, and if so, whether they plan to publicly share that information.

A spokesperson for ISDH says their plan is to make sure schools are notified in a timely manner: "We are working to ensure that schools are notified of cases in a timely manner and will have more details available as those systems are finalized."

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