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Orange COVID-19 Designation Won't Affect Elkhart Schools, For Now

Elkhart Schools logo
Elkhart Community Schools

Elkhart County recorded a record 152 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, Oct. 15, according to numbers released by the Indiana Department of Health on Thursday. 

The county also moved from the state’s “yellow” designation to “orange” on Wednesday, but that won’t have much effect on Concord and Elkhart Community Schools — at least for the immediate future.


State guidance for “orange” counties strongly recommends moving middle and high school students to a hybrid in-person/online learning model and limiting crowd sizes at extracurricular activities. 

According to a letter to Elkhart Community Schools staff from Superintendent Steve Thalheimer, since the district is already operating on a hybrid model, the shift will only affect the number of spectators at extracurricular events. Thalheimer said local athletic directors will meet to determine appropriate crowd sizes for those events.

Meanwhile, Concord Community Schools spokesperson Julie Beer said the shift won’t affect the district’s learning plan, but school officials will continue to closely monitor local and state data. Concord Schools returned to in-person learning four days a week earlier this month.

In light of worsening COVID conditions, Elkhart County Health Officer Lydia Mertz has issued another plea to the public to be vigilant, as recent data points to significant community spread.


Contact Gemma at or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo

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Gemma DiCarlo came to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
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