More than a week after Gov. Mike Parson released updated quarantine guidance for schools, the Taney County Health Department and area schools have announced new quarantine modifications to their respective institutions.
On Nov. 12, Parson announced that proper mask wearing may now prevent individuals from being identified as close contacts in K-12 schools; meaning if both individuals at school have masks on and are wearing them correctly - being the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the person exposed to the positive case - then the person exposed does not need to quarantine.
The person exposed would then monitor for systems and stay home at the first sign of symptoms. The person who initially tested positive would still be required to quarantine at home.
According to a press release from the health department on Nov. 23, modified quarantine will be permitted when both the COVID-19 positive individual and those exposed were all wearing CDC-approved face coverings during the time of exposure. Only schools that have a face covering requirement in place are eligible for modified quarantines for their students and staff. During the modified quarantine, students and staff may only leave their home to go to school and may not attend extracurricular activities.
“TCHD continues to partner with local school districts and will be jointly monitoring the situation as it evolves,” stated the release. “To date, Taney County schools report seeing limited student to student transmission in the classroom setting. Schools will continue to follow stringent preventive measures and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.”
To view the full document from the health department, visit www.taneycohealth.org/covid19/
Due to these changes, some local schools have made additional changes to their school operating plans.
According to a press release, Hollister School District has adopted the collaborative plan executed with the Taney County Health Department, as well as a few changes to their operating plan, including:
- Replacing ‘face covering’ with ‘face masks’ and changing the definition to ‘disposable or cloth masks with two or more layers, that completely cover your nose and mouth, and fit snugly against the sides of your face.’
- Every Friday, Hollister Schools will release an updated dashboard of the total number of active cases within the Hollister School District to parents and staff in Tiger e-News. For now on, parents of close contacts will still be notified, however, a district-wide email will no longer be sent.
Hollister officials will contact students and staff who are currently quarantining who meet the criteria to return to the school-based educational setting, according to the release.
Visit hollister.k12.mo.us for the complete Hollister COVID-19 Operating Plan.
Reeds Spring School District has also made a few changes due to the recent governor’s announcement.
According to a press release, when Reeds Spring School District returns from Thanksgiving Break on Tuesday, Dec. 1, all students K-12 will be required to wear masks. Previously, only students in grades 5-12 and students who rode buses had to wear masks.
Students exposed at school, per the governor’s new guidance, will no longer be required to quarantine.
According to the release, students will be able to remove masks at lunch, recess and physical education classes.
“The district based this decision on advice from state leaders, consultation with the Stone County Health Department, the careful examination of data, and thoughtful deliberation,” stated the release. “Reeds Spring Schools takes the health threat of COVID-19 seriously. The district also recognizes the challenges that the quarantine process places on students, their families, and our staff. The district always tries to act in the best interest of students.”
Visit hs.rs-wolves.com for more information.