An elementary school on the north side of Indianapolis is bringing back mandatory masks after seeing an uptick of COVID-19 cases among students and teachers.
Starting Monday, May 9, masks will be required on buses and indoors at IPS 84, the Center for Inquiry magnet school located in Meridian Kessler, schools officials said Friday.
The mask requirement, which will last through at least May 24, will also extend to visitors to the school, IPS officials said in a statement. At that point, there will be less than two weeks left in the school year.
Masks will also be required on field trips and at community events.
COVID cases have been going up across the country, including Marion County. As of Friday, the seven-day daily average for new COVID cases was 655, an increase of 134 over the previous week, according to the state COVID dashboard.
The dashboard reflects PCR tests and does not include at-home rapid tests, meaning the actual number of cases could potentially be higher.
As of Friday, just over one in five children between the ages of 5 and 11 in Indiana are fully vaccinated, according to state health data.
In an email sent to parents Friday, school officials said a rise in COVID cases had affected both students and staff members.
The school considered going virtual or canceling events but opted for mandatory mask wearing instead, as it would allow “for maximum participation” in year-end events, assistant principal Ian Yearwood said in an email to parents.
“It is incumbent upon us all to ensure the protection of not only our school family but also those with whom we will interact,” Yearwood wrote.