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Bartholomew County schools to move to virtual learning as COVID cases surge

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Posted at 9:36 PM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 21:36:31-05

COLUMBUS — All schools in the Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. will move to virtual learning beginning Monday because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to a statement posted on the district's website, the district began the school year on Aug. 10 with both in-person and remote options for its students. The district has over the course of the 60 instructional days since then been practicing strategies to keep the buildings open including monitoring temperatures, wearing face coverings, practicing hand hygiene and physically distancing.

In the statement, district leaders said the spread of COVID-19 in the community has made it difficult to continue normal operating procedures. The district's indicators show per capita rate and hospitalizations in the red category with positive test rates nearly red.

The district noted that while the Indiana State Department of Health color designation for Bartholomew County remains yellow, the internal numbers "lead us to believe that we will be moving into orange next week. Most importantly, positive cases and their resulting close contacts, both internally and throughout the community, are impacting our ability to properly staff buildings and provide bus routes."

According to the statement, all schools in the district will begin virtual learning on Monday through Nov. 24, the last day prior to Thanksgiving break. The district hopes to return to the current in-person/remote option on Nov. 30, however, the district said it will continue to monitor the community spread and will make a final decision on a return date prior to Thanksgiving.