East Baton Rouge Parish will continue to require students who come in close contact with COVID to quarantine, rather than making it optional, East Baton Rouge Parish Superintendent Sito Narcisse said in a letter to all school employees Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Louisiana Department of Education announced that school districts could make such quarantines optional. At least one Baton Rouge area school district, Ascension Parish schools, announced that it would start to do so right away.

Narcisse, however, said he's sticking to the district's pre-existing quarantine rules, which call for 14-day quarantines for close contacts — though students who are vaccinated or wearing masks properly during the school day don't have to quarantine.

Narcisse said he's basing his decision on the advice of the Louisiana Department Health, which immediately came out against making quarantines optional, and the district's health advisory committee, made up of representatives of local medical providers.

"The guidance of these healthcare professionals has not changed and has remained clear on the quarantine guidelines for unvaccinated individual and close contacts," Narcisse wrote in his letter.

Email Charles Lussier at clussier@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter, @Charles_Lussier.