Indiana officials announce new COVID-19 map for schools, school funding resolution

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Wednesday, Indiana officials made two announcements regarding schools across the state.

This includes solidifying a funding issue and a new tool to help school make decisions during the pandemic.

As schools throughout Indiana settle in to their re-entry plans, state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box says information is key.

“We know that counties and especially schools have been looking for more guidance,” Box said.

Wednesday, Box announced that beginning this week a new color-coded map will go live on the state’s website.

The map will include a county by county view of community spread of COVID-19.

“The goal is to provide an easy to understand system that local and school officials can use to inform their decisions,” Box said.

The system is based on two metrics, including the number of new cases in the past week per 100,000 residents and percent positivity.

Using these metrics each county will be given a score and color-coded rating.

“The score does not trigger a requirement of action but it provides information and recommendations,” Box said.

For example, counties with high community spread will be marked by the color red on the map.

Recommendations for this color include cancelling extracurricular activities and considering virtual options for middle and high schoolers.

Also on Wednesday, the State Board of Education approved a measure that will allow schools to receive full funding for students who attended in-person classes in February but are now virtual due to COVID-19.

“I’m fully committed to schools getting full funded for students who would normally be in the physical classroom but are attending virtually at the moment, this fall, due to the pandemic and that’s exactly the resolution the State Board of Education reached,” said Governor Eric Holcomb.

According to Holcomb students that attended school virtually in February and remain virtual now will continue to be funded by 85 percent.

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