On August 25, 2021, Governor Holcomb released a statewide mask mandate for schools and daycares. Holcomb’s directive allows for flexibility for Hoosier schools in dealing with Indiana children. The updated executive order was set in place to ease the number of quarantined students after being exposed to others infected by COVID-19. The mandate states that if a child was exposed to an infected person, as long as both people were wearing masks properly, there is no need to isolate and they would only need to monitor symptoms. But what does this mean for the Saint Joe community?
While the mandate is aimed to relieve stress on families and students and encourage continued mask use as the pandemic continues, it counters the recommended guidelines
published by the CDC. The CDC recommends that, in addition to all people wearing masks
indoors, they should isolate when coming in contact with an infected person or when experiencing symptoms, regardless of vaccination status or mask-wearing. The CDC also urges people to get vaccinated, as it is the leading prevention strategy of COVID-19.
When asked about his stance on the vaccine, Holcomb responded by urging all eligible people to get vaccinated.
He then said, “I am trying to do everything I can to get people to see the answer to the problem and the answer to the problem is getting vaccinated. The answer is the vaccine and the further we stray away from that the longer this will take.”
As of September 1, 2021, only 53% of eligible Hoosiers and 49% of Saintt Joe students were vaccinated. Saint Joe previously announced that all students and staff who were contact traced would not be required to quarantine if they were vaccinated.
For more information on CDC guidelines and recommendations, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
To find a vaccine near you, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/