Covid Risk Update: Fishers Goes From Orange to Yellow. Will Schools Open?

Today, September 1st, Fishers, Indiana adjusted their Covid Risk Ranking to Yellow, improved over Orange. This includes a number of changes including the ability for in-person school at all grades from pre-k to twelfth, provided cohorting can be maintained.

The ability to create a plan that maintains cohorting within the Junior Highs and High Schools is unlikely. As such, at most an expectation to go 50/50 with an option for virtual learning is the most to be expected at those levels. Even at 50/50, maintaining cohorting will be difficult.

Full in-person at the elementary is also a possibility; however, the district had indicated that they would move through each phases for four weeks. A school board meeting on Thursday will likely determine if they maintain what they have previously stated or change the plan. Again.

It is worth noting that the move to yellow in the Fishers Health Department data seemed to be driven primarily by test availability, test turnaround times, and healthcare capacity. The Transmission numbers were still at yellow with a 7-day positivity level of 6.2, and the case incidents were still in orange at 18.36.

The following is from the Fishers Health Department Press Release:

Fishers, Ind. – The Fishers Health Department announced today a change to the Community Risk Rating to Level 2 – Yellow (Moderate). The Risk Rating was decreased from Orange due to an improvement in both case incidence and percent positivity rates in Fishers.

For Activity Recommendations in the Yellow category, the Fishers Health Department recommends healthy, non-high-risk individuals to consider limiting large gatherings of more than thirty people and following standard prevention measures such as hand washing, distancing, and sanitizing. For high-risk individuals, we recommend avoiding gatherings of more than eight people outside your household, using takeout/delivery service in place of in-person dining, and essential shopping only.

Following this change, the Department recommends Fishers-based schools to reinstate or continue full in-person learning for elementary grades. Middle and high school grades may reinstate or continue full in-person learning if able to maintain cohorting. If unable to institute cohorting, the practice of keeping the same students together throughout the school day, the department advises a hybrid school model in order to decrease spread within schools and to minimize the number of quarantining students and staff that are expected to accompany school reopening. Additionally, schools should allow students with compelling needs to attend full-time in-person learning.

For the full press release:

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