Starting Monday, schools across Indiana will ease COVID-19 restrictions.
The state health commissioner says students and teachers will not have to quarantine as long as they follow the new guidelines.
Those new guidelines include decreasing the required social distancing in the classroom from six feet to three feet.
For months, the health department has required teachers and students to remain six feet apart in the classroom while wearing masks.
But some districts say it’s been hard to enforce especially in crowded classrooms.
Under the new guidelines, students and staff will not be required to quarantine if someone is exposed in the classroom. However, that’s only if they kept 3 feet of social distance and wore a mask at all times.
The health department is also shortening how long a person must quarantine. As long as they never develop symptoms, they are now allowed to return to school after a 10 day quarantine as opposed to the original 14 day quarantine.
These changes only apply to in-classroom exposures. The old guidelines are still in effect for exposures that happen at lunch, in the hallway, during athletics, or any other school setting. That has some districts wanting more clarification.
North West Hendricks Superintendent Dr. Scott Syverson said, “One of the issues I still wonder about is the bus scenario. In a classroom, they say we can use three feet in a classroom but we still have the six feet requirement on a bus.”
He continued, “In my view, the bus is much like a classroom. Kids are facing forward, [and] they have their mask. So I’m trying to get more clarification on why we may not be able to do the 3 feet on buses.”
The final decision on which quarantine options and rules to follow will be up to each school district.