The one constant about COVID-19 guidance is that it continues to change. The 2021-2022 school year began with school districts having to determine mask guidance since Governor Holcomb ended the mask mandate in Indiana, and it does not seem it will ever be reinstated.
This left school districts to make the decision about masks keeping in mind guidance from the CDC and health department in addition to listening to passionate pleas from parents who are either for masks or against masks. Some school districts initially only required masks for unvaccinated students and staff. This guidance quickly changed in some districts as COVID-19 positive cases began to rise. Positive cases do not only impact the student who tested positive, it also impacted staff and students who were identified as close contacts. Those students and staff also ended up in quarantine.
Executive Order 21-24 changes the K-12 quarantine requirements. Students who test positive still have to quarantine, but their close contacts do not if masks were worn. Close contacts should still be notified and monitor their symptoms. The Indiana Department of Health released a decision tree to help school districts easily implement the new guidance.
The executive order also allows schools to have more restrictive measures, but they cannot implement measures that are less restrictive. This order is effective through September 30, 2021.
Parents should check with their children’s school district to learn how this executive order impacts their children’s school’s COVID-19 guidance.