MCS coronavirus / COVID-19 information

Publish Date: 02/28/2020

A stay-at-home order has been issued for all Hoosiers

On April 3, Gov. Holcomb extended the stay-at-home order issued for all Hoosiers through May 1, and ordered non-essential businesses to cease all non-remote business. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open, and restaurants can continue pick-up and delivery. Only essential travel is allowed. Travel to our weekly food distribution on Wednesday IS allowed under this order. Click here for a Q&A provided by the governor's office when the stay-at-home order was first issued on March 23. Click here to read the full Executive Order with more details on what is considered essential travel and essential business.

 

School is closed for the rest of this school year

On April 2, the Indiana Department of Education announced in a press conference with Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb that school buildings would be closed for the remainder of the school year, in continuing efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This includes all MCS school buildings, Little Giants Preschool, and Marion Regional Career Center. In addition, all athletics, events, and activities are canceled during this time period. (State and local health officials advise staying home as much as possible, and Gov. Holcomb has ordered restaurants to transition to pick-up and delivery only. See below for more information on social distancing and local travel restrictions.)

This decision has not been made lightly, but this is an unprecedented situation. The health and safety of our students, staff, families, and our community is our primary concern.  

>> Marion Community Schools will be providing families with more details on remote learning options for their students. See the "Keep the learning going" section below.

We will continue to monitor information from local, state, and national health officials. Please watch for more messages from us. 

Please take a look at the information below, and continue to check this page for updates.

 

Food distribution:

Marion Community Schools has completed two weekly food distributions. Our next distribution is set for April 8. Watch for details coming soon.

 

Keep the learning going!

We are sharing suggested activities with families that they can use at home with their children to keep the learning going.

In general these activities will be for the purposes of enrichment and continued connection, and they will be optional but strongly suggested. We understand that not all families have Internet access, and we will be providing a range of options and opportunities. When we are able to restart classes, we will as always meet students where they are and help them grow from there. For some higher level classes, individual teachers may assign specific work for students during any closure. Teachers would communicate that directly with students as possible.

>> Technology resources: Click here to check out our Technology Resources page for information on suggested enrichment activities during the school closure, and links to apps students regularly use at school, and some low-tech ideas too!

MCS teachers have provided specific information, available through the link near the top of the resources page. There are also links to Google Classroom and Unified Classroom, for those who have been using those options.

If you have specific questions, please email your teacher. Staff emails can be found here

>> More ideas: Some of our schools are also offering ideas on their Facebook pages. More ideas will be coming!

Stay safe at home as much as possible! Keep scrolling for more COVID-19 information. 

 

Coping with challenging times:

>> Click here to view resources provided by our social workers. More resources will be added.

 

Other updates:

The governor has suspended all state testing for this year, including IREAD-3, ILEARN, and ISTEP. State tests will not be conducted this year.

We know this extended closure brings up new questions for our families with seniors, and others. This is an evolving situation. We will provide more information when we can.

We will continue to monitor information from local, state, and national health officials. Please watch for more messages from us.
 

 


 

What should I be doing now? Local and state officials say to stay home as much as possible!

>> NOTE: On March 23, Gov. Holcomb issued a stay-at-home order for all Hoosiers, and ordered non-essential businesses to cease all non-remote business. Grocery stores and pharmacies remain open, and restaurants can continue pick-up and delivery. Only essential travel is allowed. Travel to our weekly food distribution on Wednesday IS allowed under this order. Click here for a Q&A provided by the governor's office. Click here to read the full Executive Order with more details on what is considered essential travel and essential business.

The Indiana State Health Department says there have been several confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses in the state, and indicated that we are in the community transmission phase, meaning Hoosiers can contract the virus from other Hoosiers not linked to an outbreak elsewhere. On March 16, the first COVID-19 death in the state was reported. The state continues to track positive cases and deaths. Click here to view the most recent report from ISDH (scroll to the bottom of that ISDH page for most recent release).

On March 20, the state indicated the first confirmed presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Grant County. The state continues to track positive cases and deaths. Click here to view the most recent report from ISDH.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Eric Holcomb ordered restaurants and bars to close to in-person dining on March 16, through the end of March. The March 23 Executive Order extended that through April 6. They may provide take-out and delivery services.

Gov. Holcomb's March 23 executive order also orders that events and gatherings of more than 10 people should be limited (and gatherings of any size should take into consideration the CDC guidance for reducing the spread of the virus.) 

On March 19, the county raised to an Orange Travel Advisory, meaning only essential travel such as to and from work, grocery, medical treatment or supplies, emergency situations and other essential services until further notice. Click here to view that press release. Grant County closed its government offices to the public on March 17. 

Gov. Holcomb declared a public health emergency on March 6. (Click here for all press releases issued by the governor's office.) 

Local health officials also emphasize staying home as much as possible and advised practicing social distancing if you must go out. Staying 6 feet away from others can help reduce the spread of coronavirus via droplets in the air.    

Health officials also continue to emphasize hand washing and other healthy habits to help slow the spread of illness:

  • When sick, particularly if you have a fever, stay home, except to get urgent medical care
  • If your child is ill, please keep them at home, except to get urgent medical care
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes / nose / mouth
  • Most importantly, frequent handwashing with soap for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. 

At home, you can pay extra attention to frequently touched surfaces, including door knobs, countertops, light switches, keyboards, etc. No special disinfection beyond routine cleaning is recommended at this time, but frequent cleaning can help prevent the spread of illness. 

>> Any specific local news or instructions will come directly from the Grant County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). You can sign up to receive notifications directly from them at http://www.nixle.com

 

What is the coronavirus?

There are many types of human coronaviruses, including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new illness, caused be a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans: severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, shortened to SARS-CoV-2. The illness and virus was first identified in China. As the name indicates, the virus is related to the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV) that caused an outbreak in 2002 and 2003, however it is not the same virus.

Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

 

What do I do if I believe I or my child may have this illness?

In a March 6 press release, Marion General Hospital advised the following for local residents: 

"We are coordinating our efforts to ensure that should you develop symptoms that are of concern for COVID-19, we can minimize the risk to other individuals and healthcare workers while you seek treatment. Communicating with Marion General Hospital prior to arrival with symptoms is key in our ability to provide the safest treatment for you and our staff. If you are directed to Marion General Hospital for treatment, we ask that you call 765-660-6900 to coordinate your arrival. Your participation in this process is greatly appreciated as week work to minimize risk to our community."

In addition, on March 16 they put more stringent visitor restrictions and screenings in place (after putting initial restrictions in place on March 10). Click here to view their most recent press release.

In addition, IU Health has launched a free virtual screening, which allows medical professionals to provide initial evaluation without symptomatic people having to leave home, and then direct them appropriately if additional testing is needed. Click here for more information. 

At a press conference on March 16, state health officials emphasized that in the community transmission phase that we are in (meaning Hoosiers can contract the virus from other Hoosiers not linked to an outbreak elsewhere), anyone who is seriously ill should seek medical attention, and should call before heading to their local hospital (locally, call Marion General Hospital at 765-660-6900) to coordinate your arrival. Those who are less seriously ill should consider self-quarantine at home. And all Hoosiers should be staying home as much as possible and should be practicing social distancing if you must go out. Staying 6 feet away from others can help reduce the spread of coronavirus via droplets in the air.

 

How can I learn more?