CHICAGO (CBS) — At one school in Hammond, Indiana, a student with COVID-19 may have made two others sick on just the first day of class.
Of the 19 schools in the Hammond district only one opened for in-person learning when school opened Wednesday — the Hammond Area Career Center.
“We have only been in school two days,” said Scott Miller, School City of Hammond Superintendent.
And already the Area Career Center is closed.
Despite a ban on carpooling, three students drove to classes together on day one at the ACC Wednesday. That night one of the three felt sick and now has a confirmed case of COVID-19. One of the other two is said to have symptoms. The third has no symptoms.
“We are closing down the school for five days to do a deep clean because we know COVID was in our building,” said Miller.
The classrooms the three students visited are closed for 14 days.
The district hopes the protocols in place while the students were in the building help keep this contained, but with COVID-19 creeping in on day one of a district that is almost all remote the message is clear.
“Things are not normal yet,” said Miller. “We cannot act outside of schools as if everything is normal and send kids back to school and expect everything to be great.”
In Indiana not offering in-person learning means no full state funding, and for urban superintendents like Miller, it’s a dangerous equation.
“‘We’re going to bankrupt your school or we put you back into an unsafe environment,'” he said.
Students from 12 districts send students to the ACC.
Because of HIIPA laws, officials aren’t saying where they are full time students, but they are remote learning at home. So the cascading effects aren’t impacting local districts that are in-person.