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Some schools adjust mask requirements after holiday break

Published: Jan. 3, 2022 at 5:22 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 5, 2022 at 6:36 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases, schools across the US, including some in the Capital Region, will return to school wearing masks this week.

Safety is top of mind for officials as the Omicron variant spreads quickly.

EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH (Masks Required):

The district said after looking at the most current community spread data, all students, staff, and visitors will be required to continue wearing masks after the holiday break. The school system will continue to utilize all proven mitigation efforts, including deep cleaning and sanitizing of rooms and periodic hand washing. It will also continue employee and staff testing and have improved air filtration systems among other proven mitigation efforts.

You can find more information on East Baton Rouge Parish School System safe reopening plan on their website and the EBR Schools Facebook page.

ASCENSION PARISH (Masks Optional):

Superintendent David Alexander released the following statement:

“As we begin our work again this spring, face coverings will remain optional in Ascension Parish school buildings, campus facilities, district offices, and surrounding property. (Please note, Early College Option will follow RPCC requirements.) As per the most recent Governor’s Proclamation issued December 22, 2021 (https://gov.louisiana.gov/.../234JBE2021StateofEmergencyO...), face coverings may be optional provided we comply with quarantine recommendations as prescribed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). Therefore, individuals identified as close contacts of confirmed positive cases will be required to quarantine for a period of time as designated by the LDH guidelines. Exceptions for the required quarantine period as well as opportunities and conditions for early return will be communicated to the close contacts as prescribed by most current guidelines posted by LDH.”

LIVINGSTON PARISH (Masks Optional):

Livingston Parish School Superintendent Joe Murphy said the district will continue its safety protocols, including an optional mask policy, that were in place prior to the holidays, and it will not suspend regularly scheduled games and extracurricular activities at this time.

“Our leadership – including our professional medical staff members – have concluded that our district will remain with the protocols that were in place before the holidays for the time being. This will give our district an assessment period to determine the effectiveness of our current policies, and a more reasonable adjustment period should a stronger response prove necessary or the governor issue any new mandates on Jan. 19,” Murphy said.

“Furthermore, the LHSAA has firmly stated that the decisions to suspend extracurricular activities are left to the discretion of the local education agencies; therefore, at this time, Livingston Parish Schools will not be suspending its scheduled activities,” he added.

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