“Back to school” has looked a little different since March 2020, when COVID-19 struck Indiana, shutting down schools and creating a “new normal” for everyone. Now that the vaccine rollout has been a success throughout Indiana, and Governor Holcomb has revised the mask mandate, odds are looking better than ever for an in-person return to school this year.
Indiana closed its schools statewide back in March of 2020, but Governor Holcomb addressed Hoosiers recently stating that schools all across the state will open for learning as usual this coming fall. A whopping 90% of schools were back in session by the end of the 2020-2021 school year, and Indiana had quite a success in keeping students safe through social-distancing practices as well as contact tracing.
Protocols or not?
When students return this fall, they may still have to abide by certain social-distancing protocols. The CDC recently came out with new recommendations, stating that vaccinated parents and older children no longer need to wear masks, but that younger, unvaccinated children should. Some parents feel confused about this new update, and the choice to wear a mask or not seems to be a personal one.
Children are less likely to become severely ill when exposed to the COVID-19 virus, which is why recommendations for children seem to be a bit undecided or contradictory. However, any child with underlying medical condition(s) runs the risk of winding up in the hospital should they contract COVID. These parents feel the pressure to maintain their pandemic lifestyle in order to protect their family.
If you have students who attend school within Hancock County, you may have to wait a little longer to see what the exact protocols will be this coming school year. Most likely, students will be able to maintain some type of social-distancing protocol while also enjoying regular activities. Hand washing will, and always should, continue to be enforced. Whether schools will require masks depends on both the vaccine’s availability to those older than 2 years of age as well as Indiana COVID infection numbers come fall. What Hoosiers can expect is a return to just about normal with a few exceptions in place.