January 24, 2022

Indiana schools with mask mandates are no longer required to do contact tracing


The Indiana Department of Health previously required all schools to report positive cases and close contacts to the state. But schools with mask mandates in place now only have to report the positive cases to the state.  - (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

The Indiana Department of Health previously required all schools to report positive cases and close contacts to the state. But schools with mask mandates in place now only have to report the positive cases to the state.

(Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Some K-12 schools in Indiana will no longer need to conduct contact tracing and report those efforts to the state’s health department.

The Indiana Department of Health previously required all schools to report positive cases and close contacts to the state. But schools with mask mandates in place now only have to report the positive cases, IDOH spokeswoman Megan Wade-Taxter said in an email.

Instead of conducting contact tracing on the individual level, those schools can simply notify parents about positive cases in the classroom.

"Schools with mask requirements should continue to notify parents of a positive case in the classroom and reinforce mitigation strategies at school and home," Wade-Taxter said.

The change in guidance “is designed to reduce the burden of contact tracing and reporting” on schools with mask mandates, she said.

Guidance is unchanged for schools that do not require masks. Those schools must continue to do contact tracing on all cases and report that information to the state.

The changes come amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Last week, more than 15,000 positive cases among K-12 students were reported to the state.

Contact reporter Darian Benson at dbenson@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @helloimdarian.

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