APS implementing mask requirement, updates quarantine guidance for close contacts

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(ABC 6 News) – Austin Public Schools is moving to the next stage in its COVID matrix which includes implementing masking requirements. The schools also updated its quarantine guidance for close contacts.

The changes are ‘due to the change in the protocols of quarantine, the increased transmission of COVID-19 and our goal to preserve in-person instruction."

Effective Wednesday, masks will be required for all staff, students and visitors inside buildings district-wide during school hours until further notice.

Acceptable masks include:

  • Paper or disposable mask
  • Cloth face mask
  • Scarf
  • Neck gaiter
  • Bandana
  • Religious face covering
  • Medical-grade masks and respirators

"There was concern with having lots and lots of kids out and having this masking taking place in our buildings could be preventative from quarantine. There are exceptions to quarantine and wearing properly fitting masks for both positive cases and the other person is one of the ways that can prevent quarantine." Superintendent Joey Page, Austin Public Schools.

APS has also updated its quarantine guidance for close contacts following updated guidance from the CDC. "Moving forward, all close contacts will be required to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days and can be shortened to 7 days with a documented negative COVID test result (test must occur on day 5 or later). However, quarantine is not required for students in the classroom if both students are masked."

Additional safety measures and information can be found here.