As the number of COVID cases continues to climb across the Show Me State, the threat of having to close schools is once again rising to the surface.

In a note to districts across the state, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education say one option is virtual learning, however schools are only allowed to use 36 hours per year or just 5 days.

That is a problem for Lake Area schools, some of which used 2 virtual days already due to the recent snow storm.

DESE officials say if they run out of those days, schools may have to make the difficult choice to close and make up those days later in the school year, if cases get out of hand.

Missouri schools, regardless of the district, must reach a total of 1,044 instruction hours per year.

The next state Board of Education meeting is tomorrow, January 11th.