Students within the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Schools district returned to class on Monday, and the Diocese of Evansville Catholic Education Office is releasing its first COVID-19 report since winter break began.
According to the education office, since break began on Dec. 18 through the first day of the 2nd Semester on Jan. 4, 58 new positive cases of COVID-19 were identified within the district.
Those 58 new positive cases of the novel coronavirus were identified within 12 different schools within the district, according to the education office, within a mixture of 40 students and 18 staff members.
The Diocese of Evansville Catholic Education Office said another 13 new positive cases of the virus were then identified on Jan. 5, involving 8 diocesan schools. Those cases were identified within a mixture of 10 students and three staff members.
With five of the same schools appearing in both the Dec. 18 - Jan 4 report and the Jan 5 report, overall, there were 71 new positive cases of COVID-19 involving 15 diocesan Catholic schools identified between those dates.
The education office says that the students and employees are self-quarantining and that they'll return to school at the appropriate time.
Specific schools associated with positive cases aren't identified publicly by the education office for privacy reasons, but the office says all close contacts have been notified.
There are 26 total diocesan Catholic schools across eight counties in Southwestern Indiana.