Face masks will be required for students, teachers and all staff in grades sixth and higher when classes resume in Marion County school districts for the new academic year as part of the effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Marion County Public Health Department released guidance Thursday on cleaning and disinfection, social distancing, face coverings, groups and overall health and safety.
The department also calls for students to be seated three feet to six feet apart in classrooms and a teacher should keep a six foot distance from students. Classes should be held outside when possible.
All 11 Marion County public school districts released a statement in support of following the guidance.
“These guidelines are the minimum standards and therefore, individual school corporations may develop procedures that are greater than, but not lesser than, these guidelines,” the statement said.
Last week the 11 superintendents announced they would open full-time for in class instruction on their previous scheduled start dates.
The new guidance comes as Mayor Joe Hogsett announced face masks will be required in public places in Marion County and when indoors with other people starting next week.
The health department described the guidelines for school as “based on what is feasible, practical, and tailored to meet the needs” of Marion County.
On the bus, students and the driver wear a mask while on the school bus and to use assigned and social distancing when possible, according to the guidelines.
The department calls on schools to clean and disinfect high touch areas throughout the day, and clean playground equipment on a regular basis.