Masks are now optional at Concordia Parish schools

Published 7:35 am Friday, March 11, 2022

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VIDALIA, La. — Masks are now optional in Concordia Parish schools after a unanimous vote of the school board on Thursday evening.

The school district kept its mask mandate in place until November 2021 but then reinstated it in January after more than 100 school staffers were out for various COVID-19 reasons, whether they had the virus, were exposed or their children were out sick, school officials said.

Since January, the number of COVID-19 cases in the parish has reduced by half. Currently, no teachers or staff are out with COVID-19 or quarantined while only four students are out with the virus and 11 are quarantined for exposure, school officials said.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to recommend masks. However, no mandate is recommended, officials said. However, those who are exposed to the virus should wear a mask for 10 days from the day they were exposed and get tested for COVID-19 on day five, according to the CDC. For those who are symptom-free, only people who are not fully vaccinated with all of the recommended booster shots should quarantine for five days after exposure.

Superintendent Toyua Watson said masks should be “recommended but not required” adding people may still choose to wear them.

The board adopted this recommendation unanimously.