September 3, 2021

All Marion County School Districts Require Masks As COVID-19 Student Infections Increase

Adolescents younger than 12 are still not eligible for any of the available vaccines, but some school districts will not require them to wear masks during the upcoming school year - (Elizabeth Gabriel/WFYI)

Adolescents younger than 12 are still not eligible for any of the available vaccines, but some school districts will not require them to wear masks during the upcoming school year

(Elizabeth Gabriel/WFYI)

Maks Protocols Will Update With Local District Changes. Updated: Sept. 3 at 5:32 p.m.

All 11 Marion County public school districts now have a mask mandate for the 2021-22 academic year in resoponse to the rising infections and changing safety guidance from local and federal health officials.

The Decatur, Franklin and Speedway school districts — which didn’t previously require universal face coverings — announced a mask mandate in wake of a new executive order from Gov. Eric Holcomb that allows districits to follow a new quarantine policy.

State public health department’s new COVID-19 guidelines allow students and staff to remain in school after they've been in clost contact with someone who has COVID-19 if there is a mask mandate and the student or staff is asymptomatic.

Last week, 5,529 new COVID-19 cases were recorded among K-12 students across the state, according to the Aug. 30 update on the Indiana Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that “everyone in K-12 schools wear masks indoors, including teachers, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination.”

State health officials said they’re not mandating masks in K-12 schools in part because local officials told them they want to make those decisions. Holcomb ended the indoor mask requirement for schools on June 30.

The most recent guidance for schools from the Marion County Public Health Department includes: cohorting of all students and social distancing of at least three feet; sanitizing surfaces frequently; and isolating those who test positive for COVID-19  for a minimum of 10 days following the onset of symptoms.

Earlier this year, lawmakers passed a law that requires local health departments to receive approval for COVID mandates, such as face masks in schools, from local governing bodies.

Everyone who rides a school bus is required to wear a face mask – that’s a federal mandate from the Transportation Security Administration.

Here’s a brief look at Marion County school districts COVID-19 protocols. For details on districts’ quarantine, athletic and proof of vaccination policies please click on the links below:

Beech Grove City Schools: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. More information: District protocols

Decatur Township: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school.  More information: District protocols

Franklin Township: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. More information: District protocols

Indianapolis Public Schools: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. More information: District protocols

Lawrence Township: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. More information: District protocols

Perry Township: Face masks are required for students and staff regardless of their vaccination status. More information: District protocols

Pike Township: Face masks are required for students and staff regardless of their vaccination status. More information: District protocols

Speedway Schools: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. More information: District protocols

Warren Township: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. Mask use flexibility may be allowed in the classroom under certain circumstances. More information: District protocols

Washington Township: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. More information: District protocols

Wayne Township: Face masks are required for everyone regardless of vaccination status while inside of school. Mask use flexibility may be allowed in the classroom for elementary students under certain circumstances. More information: District protocols

Elizabeth Gabriel and Eric Weddle contributed reporting.

Contact WFYI education reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @_elizabethgabs.

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