HARVEY, La. (WGNO) — Since positive cases are decreasing across Lousiana and the availability for children ages 5-11 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Jefferson Parish Schools is lifting its mask mandate and updating quarantine guidelines for close contacts.
The following updates will be effective Monday, November 8:
● Face masks will be strongly encouraged, not mandated, for employees and students while indoors and in close proximity to others. This aligns with the option Governor Edwards and the Louisiana Department of Health announced for school systems last week.
● Quarantine for close contacts who are not vaccinated will be 10-14 days. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms are not required to quarantine. Close contacts who are vaccinated and have symptoms must quarantine for 10-14 days.
This update continues to meet recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
All JP Schools employees and students will still have the choice to continue wearing a face mask. Aside from certain instances where masks are still required, masking will be a personal decision made by employees, families, and students.
The district and schools will continue to maintain an environment that respects each of those individual choices.
Although the mandate will be lifted, there are some instances where masking will be required.
● All drivers and passengers on a school bus must continue to wear a face mask at all times per Presidential Executive Order No. 13998 for Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel.
● Visitors who are nonessential or non-district employees also must continue to wear face masks.
We’ve utilized the time since Governor Edwards announced his face mask update toJP Schools Superintendent Dr. James Gray
analyze data, consult with medical professionals, and understand school-based
concerns that may come from allowing the current mask mandate to expire,” said JP
Schools Superintendent Dr. James Gray. “We’re the largest school system in the state
and one of the largest employers in the parish. We owe it to our 49,000 children and
6,400 employees to do our due diligence on any decision of this magnitude.