BEECH GROVE — A steady increase of COVID-19 cases across Indiana and the country is happening as students return to class. At least two central Indiana districts are asking dozens of kids to quarantine due to contact tracing. Beech Grove City Schools is one of those districts. Over the weekend, the administration was informed four kids, three from the high school and one from the middle school, tested positive. The four students, all from the same family, came in close contact with 89 other students. This is worrying for many parents.
"It's a little nerve racking right now. I'd feel a lot better if they made a mask mandate," Stephanie Corliss, a mom with three kids in the school system, said. Corliss' son is the only one eligible to be vaccinated. Her daughters are too young.
"We now have to look out for the little ones who don't have a choice, who can't make a choice for themselves. That's clear cut in my opinion," she said.
Beech Grove City Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura Hammack addressed the situation in her weekly Facebook Live. Despite calls from some parents to reinstate mask wearing, the district isn't doing that yet.
"We recommend that for anyone who's not vaccinated to wear a mask. We are also, very much, incorporating a personal responsibility in our plan for family decision making," Dr. Hammack said. However, they are following the data and if their current plan needs to change, it will change.
Dr. Hammack also said they working to get more of their students vaccinated. 75 of the 89 who were close contacts were not vaccinated. That group of kids will now have to quarantine.
"We are working today in order to make sure opportunities for vaccines are easier and more available during what we know is a very difficult time of the year," Dr. Hammack said.
While school leaders continue to assess the situation, Corliss believes there is a simple solution that could save them a lot of trouble: masks.
"I think Beech Grove had 74 (cases) all last year. We've already had four in the first three days of school. That tells me right there, there's some prevention that can easily be done by masking up."
Watch the video in the player above to learn more.