MARION COUNTY — The Marion County Public Health Department has released its initial guidance for schools for the 2021-2022 school year.
The health department says the guidance was developed in partnership with the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), the Indiana State Department of Health, and public and private school leadership in Marion County.
“To keep Marion County moving in a positive direction as the contagious Delta variant continues to take hold in Indiana, it is more important than ever that we take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide access to the COVID-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Health Department in an email.
The following is included in the initial guidance for the 2021-2022 school year:
- Social distancing: recommend cohorting of all students and social distancing of at least three feet.
- Masks/face coverings: masks are recommended indoors for all unvaccinated students, teachers, and staff, as well as any individual with an underlying condition regardless of vaccination status. Masks are also recommended for unvaccinated individuals and those with underlying health conditions in outdoor crowded settings.
- Visitors: masks and social distancing of six feet are recommended for all visitors indoors – parents/guardians, community partners, volunteers – regardless of vaccination status.
- Athletics/extracurricular activities: student athletes are not required to wear masks during practice or games. It is recommended that band, orchestra, and choir groups limit indoor practices and performances to 90 minutes. Additional recommendations for extracurricular activities can be found in the attached guidance document.
- Transportation: masks are required for students, bus drivers, and staff on any school-sponsored transportation by federal government mandate.
- Sanitizing: all high touch surfaces should be sanitized frequently. Hand sanitizer should continue to be available for students and staff.
- Isolation: individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for a minimum of 10 days following the onset of symptoms, or from the test collection date, if asymptomatic.
- Quarantine: individuals identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case should quarantine for a minimum of 10 days after the most recent exposure. A 14-day quarantine is the most protective option. Individuals who can provide documentation that they are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine unless symptoms develop.