September 1, 2021

Indiana Schools Can Stop Quarantines If Students Mask Up

Article origination IPBS-RJC
New school guidance from the state says close contacts do not have to quarantine at all, as long as everyone in the classroom is wearing a mask throughout the school day. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

New school guidance from the state says close contacts do not have to quarantine at all, as long as everyone in the classroom is wearing a mask throughout the school day.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The Indiana Department of Health is loosening its school COVID-19 quarantine policy – but only for schools that are masking up. 

The new school guidance said close contacts do not have to quarantine at all, as long as everyone in the classroom is wearing a mask throughout the school day and as long as they are asymptomatic.

That new guidance only applies to the classroom, not to close contacts in non-classroom or extracurricular settings.

READ MORE: Doctors: To Combat Increase In Pediatric Hospitalizations, Mandate Masks In Schools



Otherwise, outside the classroom or in those where masks aren’t being worn, the previous guidance still applies – as much as 14 days quarantine, or as little as seven days, with a negative test.

Still, Gov. Eric Holcomb will not – and likely will never – reimpose a statewide mask mandate in schools. That’s a decision, he said, he’s leaving to local officials.

“Fully support it, understand it," Holcomb said. "It’s regrettable that so many of our kids are out of the classroom on any given one day.”

READ MORE: How Is Indiana Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

The number of Hoosiers under age 18 who tested positive for COVID-19 increased more than 600 percent from July to August.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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