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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence School District is joining many other school districts across the Kansas City metro in requiring masks for all students and staff at the start of the 2021 school year.

The school district announced Tuesday night it will require face masks indoors for all students two years of age and older and all adults in all district buildings beginning Wednesday, Aug. 11.

Quarantine recommendations from the CDC do not require K-12 students to quarantine due to close contact if all parties were properly wearing a mask during the time of exposure. The Independence School District said it is extending this to all students, two years of age and older.

Last school year, the school district said it had nearly 2,100 school-related quarantines, which resulted in more than 19,000 lost instructional days.

Students do not have to quarantine if both the positive case and the exposed student were wearing masks at the time of exposure and other school preventative strategies were in place.

The CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.