CROWN POINT, Ind. (WLS) -- A school district in northwest Indiana is changing its COVID policy after dozens have tested positive for the virus, forcing nearly 900 to quarantine.
Crown Point Community Schools will now require masks in all of its buildings during the school day.
The district said this will allow them to keep more students in class.
Fifty five students and staff have tested positive for COVID since the start of the school year, forcing nearly 900 others to quarantine.
More than 600 students and staff in the Crown Point Community School District were placed into quarantine as of last week due to exposure to COVID-19, or more than 6% of all students and staff in the district.
School official said 44 students and three staff members tested positive for the virus during the second week of school. Face coverings were previously required only on school buses -- only because it's a federal rule.
"It's very scary," said one parent, who asked to remain unnamed. "It's very scary because I don't want my kids to get sick with COVID."
SEE MORE: Hundreds of Crown Point students, staff quarantine after COVID exposure
That parent has two students in the district, and said two thirds of her younger's child's class are at home. She said the district's mask-optional policy wasn't working.
"You're going to run out of staff," the parent said. "You're going to run out of students to teach. They're asking them to quarantine for two weeks."
Some expressed support for a mandate at the school board meeting last week.
"Things have changed in the world with the amount of spread," said David Warne, Crown Point Community School Board president. "And I'm a little bit more in the belief that let's just jump ahead of it and mandate the masks."
The district is required, in mask-optional settings, to quarantine students and staff who were within 6 feet of a person who tests positive. That rule is mandated by the Indiana governor's executive order.
Crown Point schools COVID: IN school district institutes mask mandate after nearly 900 quarantined
Crown Point, Indiana schools previously mask-optional