UPDATE: Elkhart Schools Superintendent Confirms District's 1st COVID-19 Case

Mar 26, 2020

Elkhart Superintendent, Steve Thalheimer
Credit http://elkhart.k12.in.us/blog/2019/02/21/perspective-steve-thalheimer-superintendent/

NEW:

Today the Superintendent of the Elkhart Community School system confirmed that the district has its first cast of COVID-19.

Read the superintendent's letter below. 

Earlier today, I received notification from the Elkhart County Health Department confirming an employee working in the JC Rice Educational Service Center has tested positive for COVID-19. For many weeks, the district has been encouraging staff to stay home if they are sick, an action supported by the Board of School Trustees’ resolution to provide staff with emergency leave and the ability to work from home. This resulted in this staff member observing the guidance provided by the district and the CDC and choosing to isolate once symptoms appeared. 

We have already been in communication with ESC building staff. This individual does NOT visit school buildings or have any interaction with students during their job-related duties. 

As testing becomes more readily available in our area and across the country, it’s highly likely that others in the community, and possibly our district will test positive for the virus in the future. Unfortunately, the virus has reached Elkhart and our surrounding cities, and as one of the largest employers in the area, we were at risk to have a positive case at some point. Ultimately, I am thankful that the individual had no contact with students during their job-related duties. 

Let this serve as another reminder to heed the warnings of our state and national healthcare officials to stay home and avoid gathering with others. Please continue to practice social distancing, proper hygiene, and do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary during this time. 

I understand this can be a scary time, but I assure you, these steps are necessary to prevent the spread of this virus further. Please take this seriously and abide by all guidelines laid out by the Center for Disease Control. 

POSTED PREVIOUSLY:

On 88.1 WVPE you hear us say "We are a listener-member supported service of the Elkhart Community Schools."

And Elkhart's superintendent has got an awful lot on his plate these days. But Superintendent Thalheimer still took time to talk with us about how the school system is coping in these unprecedented times. During that interview we also talked with him about his support of public radio. It's a timely discussion given that WVPE is in the midst of conducting a modified pledge drive during the pandemic. 

In case you missed it when it aired Thursday morning, you can listen to the interview posted above.

And while you're at it, may we suggest that you do what Steve Thalheimer does? Be a listener-member and financially support 88.1 WVPE. You can do so by clicking here.