BCSC changes close contact protocols

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. has altered its COVID-19 quarantine protocols for close contacts identified in certain settings.

At Monday’s board meeting, Superintendent Jim Roberts presented a flow chart demonstrating the school corporation’s approach to potential and confirmed COVID cases.

For close contacts who are exposed to COVID at school but do not display symptoms, quarantine guidance now depends on if everyone in the setting was masked.

“If we have a positive test case, we do the identification of close contacts with those positive test cases,” Roberts said. “And if we have a traditional classroom and/or bus environment — in a mask environment … those individuals identified as close contacts in those settings are allowed to remain at school as long as they remain asymptomatic.”

The adjustment was made on Oct. 18. Roberts said that the change aligns with guidance provided by the Indiana Department of Health and Governor Eric Holcomb.

He added that this does not apply to certain situations such as lunch, physical education, extracurriculars and choral classes.

The flowchart states that in a situation where both the positive case and close contacts are masked, contacts within 3 feet will be told to monitor for symptoms for two weeks. If symptoms develop, these individuals should isolate and seek testing.

In a situation where the positive case and/or the contacts are unmasked, contacts within 6 feet must quarantine for at least 10 days unless they are fully vaccinated or have had COVID in the past three months, recovered and are without symptoms.

The state’s control measures for COVID-19, as of September, stated that the exception applies only in classroom settings (not extracurriculars or athletics) of schools that “consistently enforce” mask mandates. Buses were not mentioned.

BCSC’s reopening plan previously stated that contact tracing entails a 10-day quarantine, except for those who are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms.