• Last modified 964 days ago (Oct. 8, 2020)


Resurgent COVID shuts school, bank lobby

22 ordered quarantined as county ties record largest boom in cases

Staff writers

COVID-19 came back with a vengeance Tuesday as classes for Marion’s pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students were canceled, 14 students and eight staff members were ordered quarantined, Central National Bank was forced to close its lobby, and the county tied its record largest two-day increase in cases.

The school was closed after an employee was one of four new positive cases Monday. Five more were reported Tuesday, raising the county’s total to 119.

The new cases Tuesday were three women in their 50s, a man in his 50s, and a teenage girl.

A man and a woman in their 20s, a man in his 30s, and a man in his 70s were reported Monday.

Since Wednesday, the county reported 13 new cases of COVID-19 — the largest seven-day increase in cases in more than a month.

Two women, one in her 20s and one in her 50s, were reported Friday. A woman in her 60s who tested positive was confirmed Thursday, as well as a probable case of a man in his 50s.

The county’s infection rate is 9.9 cases per 1000 people — just shy of one case per every 1000 people.

Classes resume today after shutting down Monday as staff and the county’s health department worked to identify anyone who had contact with the employee who tested positive.

“We didn’t know where the contact occurred, so we spent yesterday and early today figuring that out and getting in contact with staff members,” principal Justin Wasmuth said.

Identified students picked up materials they would need for remote learning until the end of their quarantine.

Custodians cleaned and sanitized the building as an added precaution against the virus, he said.

Superintendent Aaron Homburg said procedures to protect staff and students are being followed carefully, especially as cases rise.

“We’ve been planning for this ever since March,” he said.

Central National Bank in Marion implemented strict in-office protocols Monday after one its employees tested positive for COVID-19.

The virus was believed to be contracted at an out-of-town event, according to a press release from bank president Todd Heitschmidt. 

The bank required social distancing, masks, hand washing and sanitizing.

The bank closed its lobby Monday, due partly to the COVID case, and because several employees were on vacation or working limited hours after returning to college, Heitschmidt said in the release.

The lobby will remain closed until the COVID victim’s isolation period ends and all staff return to work.

Drive-through and walk-up services remain available.

Last modified Oct. 8, 2020