COVID spike not prompting mask mandate for Louisiana schools

Louisiana News

FILE – In this Oct. 12, 2020, file photo, students arrive by bus at Foundation Preparatory School for their return to school during the coronavirus in New Orleans. It was the first day of in-person learning for fifth-12th grade public school students in Orleans Parish. Despite climbing numbers of COVID-19 cases around Louisiana, state education leaders are leaving decisions on mask mandates, physical distancing and other measures aimed at lessening coronavirus spread to local public school districts for the upcoming year. (Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate via AP, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana education leaders are leaving decisions on mask mandates, physical distancing and other measures aimed at lessening COVID-19 spread to local public school districts for the upcoming year even as case numbers climb.

The Department of Education sent updated guidance to K-12 school systems that recommends but doesn’t mandate face coverings for all unvaccinated adults and students in grades 3 through 12 while inside school facilities.

It also offers suggestions for distancing of students and isolation for those who contract COVID-19 or were in close contact with others who get sick.

But the only mandate involves a federal requirement that passengers on school buses must wear a mask.

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