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INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Health Department has released its COVID safety recommendations for schools.

The county’s health commissioner, Dr. Virginia Caine, says it’s “more important than ever” that schools take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

She recommends all students, regardless of their vaccination status, still practice social distancing, by staying at least three feet apart from one another.

Masks are recommended for all unvaccinated students, teachers and staff when they are indoors. Masks are required on school buses for all students, due to the federal government mandate on public transportation.

All visitors are recommended to wear masks and social distance when indoors, regardless if they are vaccinated or not.

Student-athletes are not required to wear masks during practice or games.

If an unvaccinated student or staff member is identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID case, they should quarantine for at least ten days. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine unless they start showing symptoms.

“We will continue to monitor the prevalence and impact of Delta and other new variants while educating residents on the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccines,” Dr. Caine said. “The Health Department encourages school administrators and staff to keep in mind this guidance for Marion County schools as they begin the 2021-2022 school year in person.”