SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – School districts in Northwest Louisiana are adjusting mask policies following the decision announced Tuesday by Gov. John Bel Edwards to allow the statewide mask mandate to expire.

The lifting of the mask order will include the state’s K-12 schools, as long as they maintain tight quarantine regulations for students who have come into close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Districts that don’t require all exposed students to be sent home will have to keep students and staff masked up, under Edwards’ new regulations taking effect Wednesday.

The De Soto, Bossier, Claiborne, Webster, and Natchitoches Parish school districts were among the first to announce late Tuesday afternoon that masks will become optional on their campuses.

“The district also highly recommends the wearing of masks within the school buildings but does not mandate it,” Claiborne Parish School District said in a message to parents.

“It is the parents’ choice to decide whether their child continues to wear a mask during the school day. The district will continue all Covid-19 mitigation efforts, such as, social distancing and federally mandated quarantine protocol. In short, students must wear masks on the school bus but are not required to wear them in their classrooms going forward.”

Masks will still be required buses as required by the federal COVID-19 public transit regulations.