2021-2022 school year: Face masks not required for the vaccinated

Published: Jul. 12, 2021 at 8:17 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In about one month, many students will head to the classroom for in-person learning. School leaders are making sure classes start off on a safe note, despite a rise in COVID-19 cases.

The Louisiana Department of Education released updated school reopening guidelines saying anyone who is vaccinated won’t be required to wear a face mask. Those students or teachers unvaccinated will be required, and that includes children under the age of 12 who are ineligible for the vaccines.

Chief Operations Officer for NOLA Public Schools Tiffany Delcour says getting vaccinated ahead of the school year comes with perks.

“Not only can you de-mask, but you’re also not identified for quarantine if you somehow get exposed either through your family or your community events or at school, and you can stay in-person learning which is really helpful for families as they plan for the next year,” she said.

With a few weeks left of summer vacation, she encourages students and staff to take advantage of vaccine opportunities.

“We just wanna make sure that vaccines are just another checklist on your get back to school plan,” said Delcour.

Also, new this school year, many districts are doing away with virtual learning.

“We’re really encouraging in-person learning and distance learning will only be on a medical need basis,” said Delcour.

Other districts are doing away with e-learning, except on case-by-case situations, such as St. Bernard Parish and Jefferson Parish.

A spokesperson for Jefferson Parish Public Schools said the school district created a stand-alone virtual high school this year. Nearly 300 high school students enrolled for virtual learning. While registration is now closed, the school district will determine a student’s need for virtual learning based on medical needs.

A spokesperson for St. Charles Parish Public Schools tells Fox 8 the district will still offer e-learning opportunities to its students.

Phone calls and emails to other school districts in the Fox 8 viewing area were not returned.

The NOLA Public School Board is hosting mobile vaccine sites ahead of the start of school for students ages 12 and up.

To find a vaccine site near you, click here.

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