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

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

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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 or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.