ST JOHN, Ind. (WLS) -- Lake Central School Corporation is putting at least 650 students and staff in quarantine due to COVID exposure in the past week at middle and high schools in northwest Indiana.
"It's a little scary," parent Eva Kwasniak said. "We know it's coming, so we're just waiting on the phone call. A very good friend of mine, her daughter just got the call yesterday, so she's out already."
Kwasniak said more than half the students in her son's class at Kahler Middle School were absent Wednesday.
"Nobody wants to be out of school. They all want to be with their friends," she added.
In the past week, Lake Central administrators said at least 650 students and staff have been quarantined and 49 students and staff have tested positive. There have been a total of 115 positive cases district-wide since school began three weeks ago.
"I don't understand why the cases are going up and why all these kids are quarantined, and they have masks on all day," parent Sherrie Beno said.
The district does have a mask requirement. Earlier this month, some parents protested after the Lake Central school board approved the mandate. Parents said they are enforcing the mask rule strictly.
"Yes. Yes. They have them on at all times. All times," Beno said.
Lake Central is at least the second northwest Indiana school district to report hundreds of students in quarantine.
It comes as all Crown Point schools went from mask optional to mask required Wednesday. More than 1,000 students and staff in that district have been quarantined since last week.
The Lake Central Schools superintendent declined an interview with ABC 7, but said no further mitigations or changes in policy are planned.