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Baseline numbers

Schools eye case counts after mask mandate lift
Wednesday, November 3, 2021

The Lincoln Parish School District entered its first day of optional masking for the school year with some of its lowest COVID numbers recorded thus far.

Just nine positive cases of COVID-19 were reported among students across the district on Thursday, with another 14 students quarantining at home for exposure to a positive case.

Following Gov. John Bel Edwards’ lifting of the mask mandate last week that had been in place since Aug. 4, the local school system followed suit, other than continuing to require face coverings on school buses.

As the first day with the change in effect, Thursday’s COVID absences will serve as the baseline data against which to compare future numbers as the district evaluates whether to keep masks optional past the Thanksgiving holiday, Chief Pandemic Officer Lisa Bastion said.

The 23 total students with exposures or positive cases on Thursday compares to almost 200 during the height of the delta-variant-induced fourth surge of COVID in Louisiana during the early days of the school year.

Now, no one school had more than three positive cases in the latest report. Among faculty, there was only one positive case among certified teachers and one among uncertified support staff, with no one in quarantine for exposure.