Caddo Hills School District has issued a temporary mask mandate that will begin Monday, January 10 and will continue through the remainder of the month.
The statement posted on their website and their Facebook page states that “Due to the current increase in COVID cases, the Caddo Hills School District will institute mask wearing in all grades beginning Monday, January 10th and will run through January 28th at which time we will reevaluate our status. Current quarantine guidelines state that if both parties are wearing masks then only the positive case must isolate. This measure will allow for more students to remain in school as long as the identified possible close contact remains symptom free.”
This is the second temporary mask mandate the district has put in place in an effort to curb absences due to COVID-19. The first mandate resulted in a large decline in absences due to the virus.
The number of absences at the time the mandate was issued was 72 with 11 due to positive tests. Friday the Arkansas Department of Health was reporting that there were 25 active cases being reported for all of Montgomery County and 117 active cases in Pike County.
Absences occur when someone tests positive. The person who tests positive is isolated along with anyone found to have been in close contact with that person. The new guidelines partnered with the mask mandate will help prevent unnecessary absences for symptom-free students who were wearing masks at the time of exposure.
Superintendent Deric Owens stated that the new guidelines coupled with the mask mandate will also allow the early return of 38 isolated students Monday and 15 more Tuesday.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The article was updated to reflect the number of cases being reported at the time the mandate was issued.