face masks

Indiana schools are reporting hundreds of new student cases of COVID-19 – with some only days into a new academic year. And it's disrupting classrooms and extracurricular activities across the state. 

Local school boards, school officials, teachers and parents are suddenly finding themselves on the frontlines in the battle to keep kids safe from contracting COVID-19 at school. 

Across the country and across the state, each school district is faced with important decisions on safety protocols:  masks or no masks? Vaccine mandates or not? What should the district do when infection occurs? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week it recommends people wear masks in schools as COVID-19 cases surge. It's prompting some Hoosier schools to revise their policies, while others are waiting to make decisions based on local COVID-19 data, as many near – or have already started – a new academic year. 

State health officials say they’re not mandating masks in K-12 schools amid a surge of COVID-19 in part because local officials told them they want to make those decisions.

Gov. Eric Holcomb doesn’t reimpose statewide restrictions. Indiana Department of Health officials strongly urge masks in school, but aren’t requiring them. And a few local governments begin reinstating mask requirements.