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Indiana Eases COVID-19 Quarantine Rules For Schools That Mask Up

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New school guidance from the state says close contacts do not have to quarantine at all, as long as everyone in the classroom is wearing a mask throughout the school day. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

The Indiana Department of Health is loosening its school COVID-19 quarantine policy – but only for schools that are masking up.

The new school guidance said close contacts do not have to quarantine at all, as long as everyone in the classroom is wearing a mask throughout the school day.

That new guidance only applies to the classroom, not to close contacts in non-classroom or extracurricular settings.

READ MORE: Doctors: To Combat Increase In Pediatric Hospitalizations, Mandate Masks In Schools

Otherwise, outside the classroom or in those where masks aren’t being worn, the previous guidance still applies – as much as 14 days quarantine, or as little as seven days, with a negative test.

Still, Gov. Eric Holcomb will not – and likely will never – reimpose a statewide mask mandate in schools. That’s a decision, he said, he’s leaving to local officials.

“Fully support it, understand it," Holcomb said. "It’s regrettable that so many of our kids are out of the classroom on any given one day.”

READ MORE: How Is Indiana Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.

The number of Hoosiers under age 18 who tested positive for COVID-19 increased more than 600 percent from July to August.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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