Home of the Salem Lions

Just a few days after being selected by the Indiana Department of Health and the Washington County Health Department, Salem High School has been canceled as a Covid-19 testing site due to public outcry. 

“Due to numerous complaints made to the State by community members, the ISDH strike team has canceled the testing for next week at the Salem High School,” according to a statement released to the school today through the local health department. 

“This event will be rescheduled once the ISDH can find another location to host the testing.  We will send this information out once it becomes available to us,” according to the health department. 

Salem Schools Superintendent Jon Action said the ISDH and the Washington County Health Department were looking for facilities to be a possible location for an emergency site due to Covid-19 in the spring. 

“They looked at the [National Guard] armory, the [Bradie M. Shrum] safe room and the [high school] Fieldhouse (gymnasium),” said Acton. “The fieldhouse was their preference.  We agreed to accommodate the state in March or June.”
Now, several months later with Washington County now designated a “Red” county, the state had prepared to send in a group to do testing for the county.
According to the ISDH, four testing sites are offered around the state each week.
“When choosing counties for state-run testing, we look at areas that have limited testing available or counties that are in red or orange,” said an ISDH representative. “We ask local health departments to identify locations in their community. The local health department chose the high school as the location for Washington County…”
However, a story published by WSLM earlier this week about the testing site drew much criticism regarding the location. 
Acton said the high school gym was chosen due to its centralized location for the county and the size and accessibility of the building.
Acton said the state originally looked to Salem Community Schools as a regional emergency Covid Site in the spring. He said the high school fieldhouse was selected over other county options for Covid Testing, Vaccine Distribution, and hospitalization overflow. 
Acton said the high school would be shut down while Covid testing would have been completed next week. 
“No one will access any other parts of the building except the fieldhouse,” he said,  from Dec. 8 thru the 12th to anyone not involved in Covid testing.
“Athletics [would have] move[d] practices and potential games to SMS and BSE next week,” Acton said.
He said the fieldhouse would have been deep cleaned before and after the testing.