Southern Indiana school returns to mask mandate after rise in illnesses

There’s been a rise in sicknesses that have kept students out of class at Community Montessori for the past two days.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WAVE) - A southern Indiana School is returning to a mask mandate after attendance takes a major dip.

The students at Community Montessori in New Albany are out of the classroom Friday. They weren’t there Thursday either.

There’s been a rise in sicknesses that have kept students out of class at the infant through high school charter school for the past two days.

”In 25 years, I’ve never seen it spread so quickly,” Community Montessori director Barbara Burke Fondren said.

It’s a respiratory illness trifecta and it’s causing attendance to drop quickly.

There have been reported cases of flu, RSV and COVID in classrooms, so starting Monday, masks will be required in the building.

“Masking isn’t popular in our culture right now, but our families are pretty partnered with us and realized we’re all trying to do what’s best to keep kids on campus,” Burke Fondren said.

Burke Fondren said they sat down with the county health department and decided masking was the best option.

And after a few days off, she expects attendance to come back to normal.

”We already have seen through the virtual attendance that the attendance is getting better, I don’t really have any concerns for that,” Burke Fondren said.

Burke Fondren said taking these kinds of precautions aren’t new. She’s been at the school 25 years, and even before COVID-19, similar precautions would be taken.