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NACS board votes for continuing mask mandate

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - Students and staff at Northwest Allen County Schools will continue to wear masks until December 18th.

The NACS Board voted 3 to 2 to reinstate the mask mandate Wednesday night.

The meeting could only be viewed virtually and there was no public comment. The board held two virtual meetings Wednesday at two different times. The first meeting was held at 6 pm at Perry Hill Elementary. That meeting was a 'projects and appropriations meeting'.

The board did allow public comment but only if the speaker was signed up. Parents were also able to view the meeting from a live stream in the school's library.

At the beginning of the school year, for just over 2 weeks the mask policy was optional.

At the end of August, NACS implemented a mandatory mask policy. The 3 to 2 vote authorized the policy through Thursday Oct. 14. Tonight the board decided to extend that date.

School administrators told us this week, in the 18 school days before Labor Day, with the mask optional policy in play, 1,290 students--15.9 percent of the student body-- were absent from in-person instruction due to COVID-related illness or quarantine.

They claim in the 19 school days since masks were required, 163 students have been out for the same reasons, 2.1 percent of the student population.

The Indiana State Department of Health says if face coverings are mandated, contacts within three feet must monitor for symptoms for 14 days, but do not need to quarantine. If masks are not required and a positive case is contact traced, people who had been within six feet of the person must quarantine for at least seven days.

Those guidelines were put into place when Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order in September.

Mary Eber

Mary Eber is ABC21’s 11 p.m producer.

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