Several Southern Indiana students no longer have the option to go mask-less.
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb issued an executive order on September 1st encouraging the use of masks in school.
The order says that schools and daycares with mask requirements will no longer have to quarantine students, teachers, or staff who are close contacts and aren’t showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Now, Northeast Dubois County Schools are bringing the face coverings back, as well as North and South Gibson School Corporations and North Posey County.
For a lot of school districts, positive cases of COVID-19 aren’t the primary issue. Contact-tracing and quarantining students who are identified as close contacts is what is taking the most kids away from their desks.
As of September 3rd, the North Posey School District has recorded just 24 positive cases of COVID-19 among students. However, that has led to over 100 students packing their backpacks and taking class from home.
Now, they are choosing to implement masks as a way to reduce that number.
MSD of North Posey County Superintendent, Michael Galvin, told 44News, “We want to try to minimize the number of quarantines and keep kids in school as long as they possibly can be here. We felt like this was definitely something that we needed to take advantage of to see if it works or does it not work.”
The new protocol applies to classroom settings only.
The MSD of North Posey County says they plan to re-evaluate their COVID-19 data on October 1st and then decide if the mask requirement will stay in place after fall break.
“Our kids appreciate it and I think that's some of the reason why they understand what we're trying to do. We’re trying to help them to continue to have those activities and this year's senior class wants to be involved, they want to enjoy those experiences that will last a lifetime,” says Mr. Galvin.