Students, teachers, and anyone else who goes onto a Lafayette Parish School System campus will be required to wear a mask as long as Governor John Bel Edwards's mask mandate remains in place.

The Lafayette Parish School Board voted Wednesday night to tie its mask mandate to any orders issued by the governor's office or the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Simply put: Any mask mandate issued either by the governor or by BESE will be followed by the LPSS. That means the LPSS's current mask mandate will expire when Governor Edwards's current mask order expires. The earliest that will happen is October 27.

In a separate vote, the school board rejected a measure that would have allowed students who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 patient to remain on school campuses.

Last week, the Louisiana Department of Education updated its guidance to remove its quarantine mandate for students who had had close contact with someone with COVID-19. LDOE later revised its guidance to allow each school district to opt into that policy.

In a third vote, the board voted to give fully-vaccinated employees nine days of COVID sick leave.

Under this new policy, those COVID days are retroactive to July 1 and may be used through June 30. According to a board memorandum, and employee is considered to be fully vaccinated after he or she receives both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine, provides proof of that vaccination, and provides proof of a positive antigen or PCR/molecular COVID-19 test.

Only full-time employees are eligible for the COVID days. Those days may not be cashed out or carried over to next school year.

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