COVID-19 Information

The Elkhart Community Schools Safe Schools, Safe Community Return to School Plan can be found here:

 

COVID-19 Dashboard

Elkhart Community Schools is committed to educating our communities’ children while mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission to the best of our ability during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to transparency (without violating privacy) with our staff, families, and communities to ensure our school community makes informed decisions based on factual information. The district will directly contact parents/guardians whose children are considered a “close contact” to a positive COVID-19 case within our buildings. Those who are not “close contacts” should refer to the COVID-19 dashboard for accurate, up to date information. The dashboard updates in real time as we become aware of cases.

Important definitions while looking at the dashboard:

  • Confirmed cases indicate that the district has received notification from a parent/guardian (for a student), an employee, or the Elkhart County Health Department of a COVID-19 positive test for an individual (student or staff member).
  • Close Contact includes individuals who were within 6 feet of an individual with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. Additionally, close contacts include someone who lives within the same household (even if distanced), anyone who has shared eating/drinking utensils, anyone who has had direct physical contact, including hugging, kissing, and extra-curricular activities with close physical contact.
  • Cumulative information includes all instances since August 8, 2021. As a cumulative number, this does not represent a current status. The majority of individuals counted under any cumulative number have likely already completed the protocol for return, and returned to school/work.

To see a report of all Indiana schools, please visit the Indiana State Department of Health Dashboard.

Additional Information

Reporting

  • Any confirmed positive COVID-19 case should be reported to the ECS COVID-19 reporting email or phone number. The email address is covid@elkhart.k12.in.us and the phone number is 574-262-5999. The district is committed to keeping personal information confidential.
  • All in-district contact tracing is completed by the district to ensure it is completed as quickly as possible. Close contacts identified through school buildings, buses, and activities, will be contacted by the district.
  • ECS is required to report all positive COVID-19 cases, as well as close contacts, to the Indiana State Department of Health through their reporting system. The ISDH will complete additional contact tracing.

Awaiting Results

  • Any individual (student/staff) who is awaiting results from a COVID-19 test, regardless of the reason for testing, should not come to any school building until they receive negative test results.
  • If you are the parent/guardian if a student who is awaiting test results, please contact your child’s building. Phone numbers for all buildings can be found here: List of ECS Schools
  • If you are an ECS employee who is awaiting test results, do not come to work. Contact Human Resources (574-262-5536) as soon as possible.

Will my child be required to wear a mask?

  • Effective Thursday, August 26, 2021, masks will be required for all students, staff, and visitors in ECS school buildings, regardless of vaccination status. Masks will remain optional outdoors (including recess) and can be removed when eating and drinking or engaging in strenuous activity. Students can be provided opportunities to remove their masks during the day when they are seated 6 feet or more apart and facing the same direction.

Will my child be required to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus?

  • Elkhart Community Schools will comply with Indiana state requirements regarding vaccinations. As of June 22, the COVID-19 vaccination is not required by the state for students to attend school.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

  • According to the Indiana Department of Health and CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

What do I do if I (staff) or my child (student) has symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Symptomatic individuals who are not tested for COVID-19 should stay home for at least 10 days following the onset of symptoms. This individual may return after 10 days as long as symptoms are improving, and they are fever free for at least 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications.
  • Symptomatic individuals who test negative for COVID-19 may return to school as long as symptoms are improving, and they are fever free for at least 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications.
  • Symptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may return 10 days after the positive test date, as long as symptoms are improving, and they are fever free for at least 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications.
  • Any ECS employee who has symptoms of COVID-19 should not come to work and should contact Human Resources (574-262-5536) as soon as possible.

How will I know if I (staff) or my child (student) is a “close contact”? 

  • Any staff member who is reported as a close contact will be called by Human Resources.
  • A parent or guardian of a student who is reported as a close contact will be called by automated message.
  • Human Resources can be reached at 574-262-5536 and Student Services can be reached at 574-262-5540. Translators are available for both phone lines.
  • It is important that the district has accurate contact information for parents/guardians and emergency contacts. Please review your contact information in PowerSchool. If changes are necessary, please click “Annual Back-to-school Check-in” in the PowerSchool side menu to update your contact information. We ask families to review/update their information at the beginning of each school year.

My child was identified as a close contact in their classroom (masked). What precautions do we need to take?

  • Due to Elkhart Community Schools’ mask mandate in school buildings, close contacts are allowed to stay in school if they have been in a fully-masked setting and remain symptom-free (asymptomatic) for 14 days. Parents/guardians of students identified as close contacts need to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days following exposure.

My child was identified as a close contact in an unmasked situation (athletics, music, cafeteria, etc). What precautions do we need to take?

  • When close contact occurs in an unmasked setting, including athletics, music, and the lunch room, close contacts within 6 feet of a positive case may remain in school, but must wear masks at all times, must stay at least 3 feet from other individuals at all times, must eat separately from others (with a minimum of 6 feet distance), and must provide their own transportation to/from school, extracurricular activities, and field trips. Students who are close contacts following an unmasked exposure must sit out from extracurricular activities, including practice and competitions, for 14 days following exposure.

What type of COVID-19 tests will the district accept?

  • Per the Indiana Department of Health, a positive test result is considered valid if it is a PCR test or antigen test performed by an authorized testing center or medical facility. Results from a home testing kit will not be accepted as valid evidence of a diagnosis.

If my child (student) tests positive for COVID-19, when can they return to school?

  • A student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate and may return after 10 days after the date of their positive test as long as symptoms are improving, and they are fever free for at least 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications.
  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate and will receive assignments through the district’s learning management systems (Seesaw/Canvas) throughout their absence.
  • The Elkhart County Health Department and Elkhart Community Schools will conduct contact tracing for any positive individual within a school building/bus.

If I (staff) test positive for COVID-19, when can I return to work? 

  • A staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate and may return after 10 days after the date of their positive test as long as symptoms are improving, and they are fever free for at least 24 hours without use of fever reducing medications.
  • The Elkhart County Health Department and Elkhart Community Schools will conduct contact tracing for any positive individual within a school building/bus.