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Indiana eases COVID guidance for schools: No more contact tracing, close-contact quarantines

COVID-19 masks schools
Posted at 2:24 PM, Feb 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-18 11:33:08-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Health announced Thursday it is changing its COVID-19 guidance in schools and reducing its response to the virus due to a declining number of cases.

A news release issued by the state health department said, beginning Wednesday, schools will no longer be required to conduct contact tracing or report positive cases to IDOH.

Schools will also no longer need to quarantine students who are exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status or if the school requires masks.

Additionally, people who test positive for COVID-19 can return to school after five days of isolation if they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medication and symptoms are improving.

IDOH said schools should continue to assist and notify local health departments if an outbreak or cluster of cases occurs. Schools will also be encouraged to share information with families when a case is identified so parents can monitor their children for symptoms.

The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is also lifting quarantine requirements for children exposed to COVID-19 at their childcare program, the news release said.

IDOH will end its testing and vaccination clinic across from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Feb. 26, and it will suspend its testing and vaccination strike teams across the state. However, IDOH will continue to offer mobile vaccination and testing units if they are requested.

The Indiana National Guard will stop its support for long-term care facilities and hospitals on March 14. IDOH said no new requests will be accepted after Feb. 26.

On Thursday, IDOH reported 46 more Hoosiers died from COVID-19, while 1,486 more people tested positive for the virus.