Covid-19

GOVERNOR PARSON ANNOUNCES CHANGES IN STATE’S K-12 SCHOOL QUARANTINE GUIDANCe

 

Students and Staff Required to Wear Masks May Not Have to Quarantine

On Thursday, Governor Parson, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced a change to the Missouri School Reopening and Operating Guidance, loosening the quarantine rules for students and staff if the school has and enforces a mask mandate.

If a school district mandates that everyone wears masks, and if both the person who tests positive for the virus and their close contacts are wearing masks appropriately during the contact, the close contacts are not required to quarantine. Close contacts must wear masks at all times, self-monitor for symptoms and should quarantine immediately if they develop signs of illness. The person who tests positive is still required to isolate at home.

The hope is that this change will minimize absenteeism of both students and staff. However, this is not a mandate. Some school districts may choose to continue to follow CDC guidance, which requires close contacts to quarantine for 14 days regardless of whether masks were worn. Further, school districts are not required to mandate that staff, students and visitors wear masks, but then they cannot take advantage of the loosened quarantine rules.