Louisiana Lifts Mask Mandate, Except for Schools Allowing Parents Opt Students Out of Quarantine

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Louisiana is going to assistance the statewide indoor disguise mandate, but for schools that let parents to determine whether to quarantine their kids aft a COVID-19 vulnerability successful the classroom, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Tuesday.

“I basal present contiguous optimistic, relieved that the worst of the 4th surge is precise intelligibly down america now,” said Edwards, who reinstated the disguise mandate successful August arsenic the authorities faced an summation successful COVID-19 cases driven by the Delta variant of the virus. He said the improved concern was a “direct result” of the radical who chose to get vaccinated and travel masks rules and different restrictions.

He added that portion the disguise mandate volition enactment successful spot for K-12 schools, schoolhouse districts tin opt-out if they travel the existing quarantine guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In general, the CDC recommends that students who travel successful “close contact” with idiosyncratic who has COVID-19 walk 2 weeks astatine location earlier going backmost to the classroom.

Edwards was referring to schools districts that are not enrolling successful the “parent choice” quarantine enactment that was enactment guardant by the Louisiana Department of Education earlier this month.

Under the caller policy, if a schoolhouse strategy decides to instrumentality the genitor prime option, it volition nary longer necessitate mandatory quarantines for students defined arsenic adjacent contact, according to the department. Instead, the genitor volition beryllium instantly notified of the vulnerability and fixed the enactment to quarantine their kid oregon let them to stay successful school. The parents volition besides beryllium offered a escaped COVID-19 screening for their child.

The policy, seemingly astatine likelihood with quarantine practices recommended by the authorities and national wellness authorities, was meant to minimize learning loss, according to Louisiana Superintendent of Education Cade Brumley.

“We tin nary longer disregard the unintended world consequences of our students unnecessarily missing school,” said Brumley erstwhile announcing the option. “This new, common-sense enactment empowers parents and section communities with the authorization to marque health-related decisions for their students.”

Dr. Joseph Kanter, who heads the Louisiana Department of Health, has spoken against the genitor prime option.

“I deliberation this is simply a atrocious call,” Kanter said, reported New Orleans vigor presumption WWNO. “I deliberation it is dangerous. I deliberation it is going to enactment kids astatine risk.”

The argumentation besides faced absorption from the state’s teachers’ union. In an Oct. 12 statement, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers said that they “cannot prioritize trial scores implicit the wellness and well-being of children, particularly erstwhile determination are amended solutions available.”

“If schoolhouse districts determine to follow this caller proposal from the LDOE past we volition undoubtedly spot accrued dispersed of COVID-19 successful schools and much children and unit sick,” the national said.

GQ Pan

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