Indianapolis Public Schools requiring students, staff to wear mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Public Schools will require everyone to wear masks regardless of vaccination status this upcoming school year.

Less than a week before the start of the Fall semester, IPS updated its mask protocol for students and staff. The new protocol will require everyone, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask while indoors.

The updated protocols were created based on updated guidance from the Marion County Public Health Department, the Indiana State Health Department, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The update in guidance comes as the CDC reversed course Tuesday on some masking guidelines, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging.

Most new infections in the U.S. continue to be among unvaccinated people. But “breakthrough” infections, which generally cause milder illness, can occur in vaccinated people. When earlier strains of the virus predominated, infected vaccinated people were found to have low levels of virus and were deemed unlikely to spread the virus much, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said.

But with the delta variant, the level of virus in infected vaccinated people is “indistinguishable” from the level of virus in the noses and throats of unvaccinated people, Walensky said.

People can read the full health and safety protocols for Indianapolis Public Schools by visiting its back-to-school website.

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