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Déjà vu

The Lebanon Reporter - 7/29/2021

Jul. 29—The swift rise of cases of the Delta variant of the coronavirus has prompted a return to strategies that began last year. The Center for Disease Control modified its stance on masks and other strategies due to these changes and the Boone County Health Department has followed suit.

"The Boone County Health Department strongly recommends all the mitigation strategies ... , including consistent and correct mask wearing in an indoor congregate setting, such as schools, for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals while community transmission is substantial or high," a press release from Director of Nursing Lisa Younts stated. In addition, the health department recommends everyone 12 years or older get vaccinated.

"Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic," the press release said.

Boone County is seeing a substantial increase in COVID-19 cases. In addition to mask guidance and vaccination, the CDC and the health department are promoting other strategies that are nothing new including physical distancing, indoor ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick, cleaning and disinfecting, and testing.

As of press time, none of the school districts in Boone County have announced any change in the reopening policy where there are no plans for virtual schooling and masks are only an option.

"Our students, staff and parents will make their own, informed choice regarding the use of masks or face coverings in our facilities and at school activities," Superintendent Jon Milleman told the Lebanon School Board at a public meeting on July 20. He did say the guidance could change based on community spread.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the spread locally is large enough to put Boone County in the yellow category which indicates an upward trend in COVID cases. Hendricks, Hamilton and Marion counties are on the same level, while Clinton County is a little worse and Montgomery County has moved into the orange category.

Earlier this week, the Boone County Jail reported 22 COVID-19 cases among the population of 135. As many as eight of those cases could be breakthrough cases. The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy has suspended classes in Plainfield due to 10 cases and possibly another nine. Fifty students there are also in quarantine because of contact with a positive case.

"The majority of the 117 students are unvaccinated," ILEA Executive Director Tim Horty said.

The Boone County Health Department offers all three brands of the COVID-19 vaccine. Clinics are 2-7 p.m. Wednesdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. Appointments may be made online at, but walk-ins are welcome.


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