NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WDRB) -- COVID-19 cases in Indiana schools have seen a decline in recent weeks, and fewer students have ended up in quarantine as well.
For the week ending Sept. 24, 3,364 K-12 students in Indiana students tested positive for the virus. That's down from more than 5,000 students at the beginning of the month.
The decline comes in the back drop of a change made to quarantine guidelines for Hoosier students.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced about three weeks ago that the rules would be changed for when students have to quarantine at home. Students who are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 no longer have to quarantine if they are "consistently" using masks. Previously, students had to quarantine regardless of whether they were wearing masks.
"A nice common ground," Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel said. "It helped increase masking, so we've seen in-school spread go way down. And honestly, I think that's the driving force behind some of our numbers looking better."
New Albany Floyd County Schools implemented the new policy almost immediately. The district has had a mask mandate in place since mid-August.
At one point, around 1,000 students had to quarantine in the district of about 11,000 students. As of Thursday morning, that number was down to about 270, Superintendent Dr. Bradley Snyder said.
"That's a 75% reduction, if I'm doing the math right," Snyder said. "And that's a lot of kids and a lot of individual homes receiving some benefit here."
And so far, COVID-19 cases have not increased in the district, Snyder said.
"We are cresting or have crested," he said. "It's not going up like it was and it's not going down per se, but it's definitely not going up."
Meanwhile, cases have gone up in Greater Clark County Schools. For the week ending on Sept 24, 44 individuals in the districts tested positive for the virus. that represented 0.39% of students of staff in the district.
Indiana state health officials are expected to update the public on the virus on Wednesday morning.