Editor's Note: This story is part of The Partnership Project, a series of content written in an effort by The Daily News to follow the formal collaboration of Ball State University and Muncie Community Schools. Read more in this series here.
The Muncie Community Schools (MCS) Board of Trustees approved lifting the school district's mask mandate Feb. 22, no longer requiring students, staff or visitors to wear a mask inside MCS buildings.
The change was recommended by Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, MCS director of public education and CEO.
“We’ve seen COVID cases plummet from several weeks ago and after consulting with our local health officials, this seemed to be the right step to take,” Kwiatkowski said in a press release. “We’ve always said the data would dictate our decisions on COVID policies, and it’s finally time to move past the masks.”
Because of a federal mandate, masks will still be required on school buses before and after school. Aside from lifting the mask mandate, MCS will also no longer conduct contact tracing or require students who have been exposed to COVID-19 to be quarantined. The changes reflect both a decrease in positive COVID-19 case numbers statewide and changes to the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) COVID-19 school guidance.