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Caddo schools opt to keep mask mandate after statewide order expires

Local

CADDO PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Caddo Parish schools will continue to require students and faculty to wear masks despite the expiration of the Louisiana mask mandate on Wednesday.

Caddo Parish becomes the first North Louisiana school district to announce that students will continue to be required to wear masks since Gov. John Bel Edwards’ announced the end statewide mask mandate Tuesday. The Caddo Parish School Board released a notice to parents explaining the decision.

“In Caddo Parish, local medical advisors have been reviewing data related to childhood cases of COVID-19 and the percent of students who are vaccinated. At this time, approximately 25 percent of cases are in children locally. Further, less than 30 percent of students ages 12-17 are vaccinated and 5-11 year olds remain ineligible at the current time for vaccination,” the district said in a release.

“Thus, Caddo will continue current mitigation protocols, including masking, which continues to be recommended by the Louisiana Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.”

Other school districts in Northwest Louisiana have made masking optional as a result of Tuesday’s announcement, including Bossier, Claiborne, De Soto, and Natchitoches.

While mask mandates will remain in place, the district said they are lifting other restrictions. “Starting this week, after successful pilots, visitors will be permitted to visit campuses and music programs will resume indoors with appropriate protocols in place for both.”

The district’s required quarantine protocols will also remain unchanged.

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