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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

More than 20,000 expected to celebrate 11th year of back to school event

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They will come before sunrise and the last person will leave more than eight hours later. Many will stand for three hours before the main gates open. At the end of the day, organizers expect more than 20,000 adults and children to attend.

This is the backdrop for the 11th Annual Covering Kids and Families Back to School Family Day. The July 30 event, hosted by the Marion County Public Health Department, 3838 North Rural St., will run from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. and is the largest event of its kind in the city.

Health screenings, the opportunity to enroll in free and reduced price health insurance, health information, back to school immunizations, games, entertainment and back to school supplies will be part of the annual summer event.

Backpacks will be handed out to school-aged children.

Families wanting school supplies for their children must bring their children with them.

Those needing back to school immunizations should bring current shot records with them. Dental and other screenings also will be available.

“In order for our children to be truly prepared for school they must be healthy and have the appropriate supplies. We are proud to make both health screenings and basic school supplies available to our community,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director, Marion County Public Health Department.

Individuals wanting birth certificates for school enrollment can purchase the documents during the Covering Kids and Families Back to School Family Day.

The Indianapolis Fire Department will have a large presence with its Fire Safety Festival, a high-energy area featuring music, food, interactive displays and other educational opportunities. More than 60 community organizations will be on hand with various displays and information.

Anniversary ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. at the entertainment stage and will include the presentation of colors, the National Anthem and comments from community leaders.

Raffles and prizes will be offered throughout the day.

Those with questions about the event can call (317) 221-2464.

Presence of measles in northern Indiana could impact Marion County

The on-going measles outbreak in northern Indiana increases the likelihood of the highly contagious disease in Marion County.

While no measles cases have been reported in Indianapolis, Marion County Public Health Department officials say now is the time for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms in case measles are confirmed locally.

When infected persons sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air. Those droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to two hours. 

Measles begins with fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes about 7-10 days after exposure. The fever can increase. Two to four days after exposure, a rash starts on the face and upper neck. It spreads down the back and trunk, extends to the arms, hands, legs and feet.  After about five days, the rash fades in the same order in which it appeared.

“Clearly, the best protection against measles is preventative vaccination. While a highly communicable infectious disease, the two-dose vaccine schedule increases measles immunity levels to approximately 99 percent. Therefore, we want all of our children to have their age-appropriate immunizations,” said Dr. Caine.


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