Elkhart County Health Department recommends optional in-person learning

NOW: Elkhart County Health Department recommends optional in-person learning

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ELKHART COUNTY, Ind.--- The Elkhart County Health Department is recommending that schools in the county proceed with optional in-person learning to start the school year. This announcement comes after several school districts in St. Joseph County announced last week that they will begin their school year with online only classes.

"The schools needed a decision made hopefully before the last minute," said Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Lydia Mertz.

Dr. Mertz cited a downward trend of positive Coronavirus cases in the county as the main reason behind the decision to encourage in-person learning.

"We are now not a hotspot and I don’t think people realize this," said Dr. Mertz. "Our rates are currently coming down and they’re still on the way down."

Dr. Mertz says it was important that children return to in-person  class as safely and as soon as possible.

"Things may change, but we hope not," said Dr. Mertz. "We hope that people will continue doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus and help schools have some success." 

The Elkhart County Health Department wants to emphasize that this return to in-person classes is strictly on a optional basis.

"If people are uncomfortable going, they don’t need to they can use the online option," said Mertz. "I think it’s a good opportunity for children to go back to school safely."

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