MONDAY'S COVID-19 UPDATE: Friday’s Clay County school numbers amended, administrators explain confusion on dashboard

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Sometimes data is right and sort of wrong simultaneously and needs clarification to be understood properly.

The Indiana State Department of Health has maintained information about the COVID-19 pandemic since it started in 2020.

The Dashboards have evolved throughout to provide more accurate and detailed information regarding public, long-term care facilities, and schools throughout Indiana, which can become challenging to understand.

A story about the COVID-19 data for local schools in Friday’s edition of The Brazil Times caused a stir among local concerned parents.

Coordinator of Health Services for Clay Community Schools Lynn Stoelting, BSN RN, wants to help clear up the confusion for parents.

“Unfortunately, the information from ISDH represented the total number for the year, not the week of April 24-31, 2021,” said Stoelting, who reports the local school COVID-19 data to the state department. “The total for the week was five, including both students and staff members.”

Stoelting confirms the spread of the COVID-19 virus in schools has gone down.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, local schools have reported the following CONFIRMED CASES among students and staff members through April 30, 2021:

Clay City Elementary — 9 total for the year, 0 the week of 04/24-04/30

Clay City High School — 19 total for the year, 1 the week of 04/24 – 04/30

East Side Elementary — 8 total for the year, 0 the week of 04/24-04/30

Forest Park Elementary — 9 total for the year, 0 for the week of 04/24-04/30

Jackson Township — 14 total for the year, 3 for the week of 04/24-04/30

Meridian Elementary — 4 total for the year, 0 for the week of 04/24-04/30

North Clay Middle School — 31 total for the year, 0 for the week of 04/24-04/30

Northview High School — 41 total for the year, 0 for the week of 04/24-04/30

Staunton Elementary — 6 total for the year, 0 for the week of 04/24-04/30

Van Buren Elementary — 7 total for the year, 1 for the week of 04/24-04/30

Stoelting explained students and staff data is not broken down due to confidentiality reasons. The information was also for only POSITIVE staff and students in school when they were diagnosed positive. Quarantined students due to close contact are not included in the report since they are not positive individuals.

Stoelting said, the ISDH Dashboard ( had the weekly numbers correct since they used “<5” to report cases less than 5 per school.

Superintendent Jeff Fritz hopes people will understand the data better and appreciates parents’ concerns regarding COVID-19.

“I know it’s been said before, but the COVID-19 continues to be a fluid situation for everyone,” said Fritz.

The ISDH updates the COVID-19 Data Dashboard for schools throughout Indiana each Monday at noon.

Clay County COVID-19 data

Clay County remains in the YELLOW according to the Advisory category for the COVID-19 Weekly 2-Metric Score. The Indiana State Department of Health maintains information on the COVID-19 pandemic in a delayed format to protect the ongoing integrity of the data from various responding agencies.

Clay County is the only one in the Wabash Valley District 7 in YELLOW, with Greene, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo counties remaining in BLUE. Advisory level refers to the current guidelines the county must follow. A county must stay at a lower Weekly Two-Metric Score for two consecutive weeks to move down to a lower advisory level.

The levels determining the spread of COVID-19 are:

RED — High Spread,

ORANGE — Medium Spread,

YELLOW — Mild Spread, and

BLUE — Light Spread.

The ISDH updates the Advisory Category and the Weekly Two-Metric Score of the COVID-19 Data Dashboard each Wednesday at noon.

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