INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools will require all students and staff, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in all school buildings.
The new requirement comes after the district reviewed new guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Marion County Public Health Department, according to a tweet.
Students are still encouraged to provide proof of vaccination in case mask guidance changes later in the school year, according to the protocols posted online. Staff are asked to continue to provide proof of vaccination in accordance with district protocols.
Because of a federal mandate, everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks on buses.
"As we’ve communicated the last 18 months and will continue to reiterate, our IPS administration will remain nimble and prepared to change course based on updated recommendations and information from our health leaders and partners," Alpha Garrett, public information manager for the district, said in a statement. "The health and safety of our students and staff remain our priority, and we want to do what it takes to keep our students safely learning in person this year."
Anyone who has been in close contact, defined as being within 3 feet of a person who tested positive for 15 minutes or more, will need to follow the district's contact tracing and quarantine protocols. Vaccinated students and staff members who are vaccinated and asymptomatic will not need to quarantine.
Students and staff members are asked to check every morning for symptoms and stay home if they have any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle and or body aches
- Loss of taste and or smell
- Sore throat
- Sinus congestion
All high-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized frequently in buildings and on buses.
Social distancing of 3 feet will be practiced when possible. Students will have seating assignments in classes, during lunch and on buses for contact tracing.
Visitors are required to wear masks when indoors, regardless of their vaccination status. Masks are only required outdoors if social distancing can't be practiced.
According to the district's website, the health and safety protocols are based on guidance from health organizations and are subject to change.
You can learn more about the health and safety protocols here.