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City schools won’t require student masking

Since March of 2020 we have endured some unprecedented times, but together we have made it through.

We are very excited about the coming year, getting back to some normalcy, and having the opportunity to educate your children. Per Gov. John Bel Edwards’ order concerning COVID-19, the state is now under “Phase Three.” This allows schools to return to “normal” operations with the following guidelines:

  • Students and staff are no longer required to wear face coverings within the school building or classroom. However, if you have not been vaccinated, the CDC and Louisiana Department of Health recommend that you wear a face covering.
  • Buses are allowed to operate at 100-percent capacity, as required by the Presidential Executive Order No. 13999. All passengers on the bus must wear a face covering while using bus transportation. Windows should be kept open when possible.
  • “High touch” surfaces will be cleaned twice a day, including restrooms. Buses and Classrooms will continue to be disinfected daily.
  • Students should wash or sanitize hands upon arrival at school, before and after eating, before and after outdoor play, and before exiting the school facility.
  • All visitors to the school building should mask and maintain physical distance of six feet to the greatest extent possible.
  • Staff and students are encouraged to social distance to the greatest extent possible.

As we move into the 2021-22 school year, BCSS will plan for and expect that some students will get COVID-19 during the school year. Please remember:

  • Students who are sick should stay home.
  • Students who have COVID-19 should stay home and remain isolated until they have recovered and have been determined to no longer be infectious.
  • Individuals who are in close contact with the student may be identified and contacted as part of the Office of Public Health (OPH) contact tracing process.
  • Close contacts will be asked to stay home and monitor symptoms for 14 days.

This is an outline of what to expect in the coming year, as we prepare for returning to school. This guideline may change as the weeks determine what is happening in our community in relation to COVID-19.

Please remain vigilant with these guidelines, and continue to monitor our website for updates. We encourage our employees and students to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

If an employee or student has been vaccinated and is exposed to the COVID-19 virus, quarantining will be required only if he or she has symptoms of the virus. There will be notices forthcoming of free COVID-19 vaccination sites at various locations throughout the parish.

This article was written by Lisa Tanner, who is the superintendent for Bogalusa City Schools.