The Indiana State Department of Health updated its COVID-19 school dashboard data this week, and according to the new numbers, two Elkhart County high schools have the highest student case counts in the state.
Elkhart High School has reported 32 total student cases since the start of the school year, and Goshen High School has reported 28. Those are the highest numbers being reported so far by any Hoosier school, but 607 schools still haven’t submitted any coronavirus data to the state.
However, Elkhart County Health Officer Lydia Mertz believes those counts aren’t necessarily evidence of COVID outbreaks in schools. She said they're more representative of the county’s high rate of community spread than the schools’.
“Schools are a part of the community, and when you have this much spread in the community, you’re going to find it in some students," Mertz said. "But it’s not because they’re sitting in the classroom.”
She said contact tracing has revealed that students are most often infected outside of school, either through members of their household or extracurricular activities.
Still, she said the health department regularly communicates with school superintendents to update safety protocols and monitor cases in schools.
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