BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — New COVID-19 quarantine policies approved by the Louisiana Department of Education will go into effect starting October 25 for Bossier Parish schools.

The new policy states mandatory quarantines for students defined as “close contact” will no longer be a requirement. Now, parents will be notified of exposure and are given the choice to have their child quarantined or remain in school. This only applies if the student is not symptomatic.

Parents are also given the option for their students to have access to a no-cost COVID screening if they are defined as “close contact.”

If parents choose to not quarantine their child, then they are required to wear a face-covering as well as have their temperature checked during the period of time in which the student would have been subject to quarantine.

If any student experiences Covid-like symptoms at school, as identified by the LDH, they will continue to be required to have a negative PCR molecular test before returning to school, or complete a 10-day quarantine.

The new quarantine guidelines only apply to close contacts in school or extracurricular settings and do not apply to close contacts in a home or social gathering setting or those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive.

The school district also notes that the parent choice option does not alter the process of a COVID-19 case. Meaning, if a student or employee develops symptoms or tests positive, they still must isolate in accordance with existing Louisiana Department of Health Guidelines.