FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Northwest Allen County Schools (NACS) has reinstated its mask mandate at Monday night’s school board meeting.

According to Superintendent Chris Himsel, last week there were 105 student cases of COVID-19 and there were 996 students quarantining. That is more than 12% of the school’s population.

Board member Liz Hathaway asked that the mask mandate be put back in place.

The board voted and the mandate passed 3:2.

This caused an eruption from the crowd, according to a WANE 15 reporter at the meeting.

Following the board meeting, WANE 15 received a press release that said that the mask mandate is temporary and expires at Oct. 14 at 11:59 p.m. This was not mentioned in the meeting.

While the temporary order is in place, anyone on NACS property or at NACS activities are required to wear masks unless:

  • They are six feet or more apart from all persons
  • They are outside
  • They are engaging in high-exertion activities such as physical activities implemented during physical education classes, sports or marching band
  • They are eating or drinking
  • They are covered by all other exception required by federal or state law

“We are on a trajectory that would soon require us to temporarily shift to full-time remote learning, which we would prefer avoiding,” a letter to parents sent by Superintendent Himsel said. “… Our goal continues to include providing onsite instruction, and based on guidance from infectious disease, pediatric and public health experts, requiring the wearing of masks will begin the process of reversing our current trend.”

Currently, Fort Wayne Community Schools is the only other district in Allen County with a mask requirement for its students and staff member.