Indiana announces change to quarantining protocols for schools

Gov. Holcomb gives update on state's COVID-19 vaccine rollout

INDIANAPOLIS (FOX19) - Protocols for quarantining students and teachers will change next week.

Effective Feb. 8, schools will no longer be required to quarantine or contact trace if students and teachers remain at least three feet apart and are wearing a mask at all times while inside a classroom, Indiana Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announced.

However, if the COVID-19 exposure happened outside of the classroom (lunch, after school activity, etc.), quarantining will still be required, she said.

If a teacher or student does require quarantining, here are the options outlined by Dr. Box:

  • A 14-day quarantine is still the safest.
  • A 10-day quarantine is optional if the person never developed symptoms and wears a mask at all times when returning to school.
  • A seven-day quarantine if a negative PCR nasal swab test is conducted on day five, six, seven, or a negative rapid antigen test upon return to school on day eight.

Indiana schools will also be receiving a large batch of PPE and more COVID-19 resources.

The state will be sending more than 1 million KN95 masks to schools for teachers and staff. An additional 600,000 masks for kindergarten through sixth-grade students will be sent.

Schools will also get more COVID-19 tests, Dr. Box announced.

Around 256,000 tests will be shipped out to schools next week. Each school will receive an initial shipment of 120 tests, but more can be ordered if needed.

Indiana COVID-19 Numbers

1,480 new cases of COVID-19 is being reported Wednesday by the Indiana State Department of Health.

Indiana’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is now 631,331, the ISDH reports.

Here is a breakdown of new and total cases for all Indiana counties in the FOX19 NOW viewing area:

  • Dearborn County: 10 new cases (5,101 total)
  • Franklin County: One new case (1,543 total)
  • Ohio County: Two new cases (510 total)
  • Ripley County: Two new cases (3,106 total)
  • Switzerland County: Nine new cases (712 total)
  • Union County: Two new cases (640 total)

The ISDH reported 36 more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday. Dearborn County reported one additional death, according to the ISDH.

To date, 9,713 people in Indiana have died from the virus since March 15, 2020, according to the ISDH website. The death rate will increase though because of an audit.

Dr. Box said Wednesday an audit found an additional 1,507 historical deaths from COVID-19. 1,205 deaths happened in 2020, while 302 occurred this year.

Indiana’s seven-day positivity rate for all tests is 7.7%.

More Hoosiers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine as Indiana begins its new phase.

Indiana residents ages 65 and older can now sign up and receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

Of all the age groups eligible for the vaccine, more than 611,000 Hoosiers have received the first dose, Dr. Box says. More than 166,000 Hoosiers have received both doses of the vaccine.

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