The Indiana Department of Health announced several changes in COVID-19 guidance for K-12 schools and childcare programs Thursday, according to Fox59. The IDOH also announced a reduction of COVID-19 response operations across the state.
Schools across the state will no longer be required to conduct contact tracing or report positive cases to the Indiana Department of Health beginning Feb. 23. Students exposed to COVID-19 no longer need to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status or whether the school requires masks.
The IDOH will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s updated guidelines, which said individuals who test positive for COVID-19 only need to quarantine for five days. They may return to public settings on the sixth day if they no longer have symptoms and have been fever-free for 24 hours without medication.
Schools are expected to continue notifying their local health departments of any outbreaks or large cluster of cases. They are also encouraged to share news of a positive case with families.
Childcare programs will follow similar guidelines, although the IDOH recommends children wait to return from isolation following a positive test until the eighth day if the child is unable to mask correctly and consistently.
For Indiana’s COVID-19 operations, the health department said the demand for testing has dropped and vaccines and treatment are widely available at health provider locations.
Due to these conditions, the IDOH testing and vaccination clinics at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will end operations Feb. 26. IDOH will also suspend testing and vaccination teams previously deployed across the state. Mobile testing and vaccination units are still available upon request.
The Indiana National Guard support for long-term care facilities and hospitals will end March 14, with the last day of requests being Feb. 26.