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Local schools provide COVID safety measures amid rising cases

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 2:16 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:54 AM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - COVID cases are on the rise here in Louisiana, especially with the new Delta variant. As students begin to go back to school, local parishes are releasing COVID guidelines to keep this 2021-2022 schoolyear safe.

Below is a list of school guidelines per parish on COVID safety protocols:

AVOYELLES PARISH:

MASK MANDATE: All students in grades 3-12 will be required to wear a face covering while inside the school facility. All passengers on the school bus must wear a facial covering while using transportation. All visitors must wear masks and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from others.

RAPIDES PARISH:

  • While inside the school facility, all adults and students in grades Kindergarten through 12 must wear a face covering.
  • While inside the school facility, children ages 2-5 are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering.
  • While inside the school facility, children under two years old and individuals with breathing difficulties should not wear a face covering.
  • While outdoors, all fully vaccinated and unvaccinated adults and students do not need to mask if they adhere to physical distancing requirements.

Read the RPSB Ready to Achieve 2021-2022 School Operational Guidelines for more information.

“In order for us to keep our students in school, our employees safe, and our schools open, we must do everything in our power to stop, control, and/or limit the spread and negative impact of the COVID virus. Obviously, that starts with everyone who can and who is willing to get vaccinated, everyone must wear masks, and everyone must stay socially distant. I know some confusion has been created after the Board Meeting Tuesday night and in reference to the “opt out” letter being circulated by the Attorney General’s Office. Please know that our legal guidance is that local School Board action does not supersede the Governor’s Executive Order. Additionally, in response to those attempting to employ the “opt out” letter initiated by the state’s Attorney General, Gov. Edwards has issued the letter attached HERE.”

“In short, all students 5 years old and older, employees, and visitors to all Rapides Parish School Board schools, buildings and buses are required to wear masks through September 1st (per Executive Order).”

“We are bound to CDC quarantine guidelines. Therefore, when folks are not vaccinated, do not wear masks, and/or do not stay socially distant, more students and employees will be forced to quarantine which has the potential to lead to the closing of classes, grade levels, and entire schools. Obviously, this would create a negative impact both on teaching and learning and in the community as parents and businesses try to adapt when we have quarantines and class/school closures.”

“Our employees have had a GREAT first couple days back and we are excited to start school next week! We look forward to a GREAT year! Let's continue to show the world that Rapides Parish truly is #bettertogether!”

Jeff Powell, Superintendent of Rapides Parish schools

GRANT PARISH

Grant Parish is not mandating masks, but is strongly encouraging the use of facial coverings.

VERNON PARISH

No decision has been made on masks at this time for Vernon Parish.

KALB is working to get more information from local schools about COVID precautions and safety protocols. Check back for more details as we add more parishes to our list.

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