IDOH eases COVID-19 restrictions for schools
INDIANAPOLIS (WEHT) — The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced changes to COVID-19 guidelines for K-12 schools and child care programs. This announcement reflects the decline in cases statewide.
The department will also begin to scale back its COVID-19 response operations. There is less demand for testing and substantial availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments among healthcare providers.
“These changes reflect the rapid decline in COVID-19 cases as we emerge from the omicron surge and the fact that all school-aged children have been eligible for vaccination since November,” the state commissioner said at health, Kris Box, MD, FACOG. “While they won’t remove the need for ongoing vigilance, they will ease the reporting burden on schools and help ensure children can stay in school.”
Schools will no longer be required to conduct contact tracing or report positive cases to IDOH from February 23. Students who are exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 will no longer need to self-quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status or if the school requires masks.
People who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for five days. They can return on day 6 if they haven’t had a fever for 24 hours without taking medication and as long as symptoms improve, according to advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Individuals should wear a mask until day 10 whenever they are around other people at home or in public.
Schools are expected to continue to assist local health departments with notification in the event of an outbreak or cluster. They are encouraged to continue sharing information with families when a case is identified so parents can monitor their children for symptoms.
the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning waive quarantine requirements for exposed children in their child care program. Children who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home for five days, regardless of symptoms.
It is recommended that children who can mask properly and consistently return on Day 6. Children who cannot mask properly are recommended to return on Day 8. Full guidance will be posted here.
Indiana’s positivity rate fell from 33.6% on Jan. 19 to 13.1% on Wednesday. Demand for testing has also dropped significantly.
The IDOH Testing and Immunization Clinic across from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will close on Saturday, February 26 due to declining cases. IDOH will suspend its testing and vaccination strike teams that had been deployed across the state, but will continue to make mobile vaccination and testing units available upon request.
Indiana National Guard support for long-term care facilities and hospitals will end on March 14 and no new applications will be accepted after February 26. Hoosiers in need of COVID-19 testing can find a site at www.coronavirus.in.gov.
People looking for a COVID-19 vaccine can visit www.ourshot.in.gov. Visit the Indiana Department of Health at www.health.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StateHealthIN.