SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Both the Caddo and Bossier Parish school districts are expected to announce COVID-19 guidelines for the fall semester over the next two weeks.

Caddo Parish Schools are set to begin August 23. Classes for students in Bossier Parish public schools start on August 12.

The Caddo Parish school district was originally set to present plans for reopening to the school board on Tuesday, July 27, but pushed those plans back to the next meeting on August 3.

When Bossier Parish schools released plans on July 28, the district said masks would be highly encouraged, but not mandated when school starts on August 12. Those plans changed after the CDC updated their guidance.

“The mask mandate reinstated by Governor Edwards applies to every public school district in Louisiana and Bossier Schools will adhere to it,” the school district said in a statement. “We are updating our school operational guidelines to reflect the change which will require every child in kindergarten through 12th grade and all adults to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.” 

Most school districts around the ArkLaTex have generally followed state and federal guidelines in their COVID-19 reopening plans, but some of that guidance has changed since the CDC originally said vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings in early July. On Tuesday, July 27, the CDC adjusted that guidance to recommend masks be work indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.

Citing new information about the variant’s ability to spread among vaccinated people, the CDC also recommended indoor masks for all teachers, staff, students and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.

The nation’s top public health agency is still not advising schools to require shots for teachers and vaccine-eligible kids. And it’s not offering guidance on how teachers can know which students are vaccinated or how parents will know which teachers are immunized.