Wed. Feb 1st, 2023
Kids in the Morgan County R-2 school district are being forced to wear masks.
As of right now, students from Pre-kindergarten through 12th grade have to cover their faces at school.
The board of education made the decision unanimously to impose the mandate this week.
Morgan County schools were in online learning from October 22 through November 5.
From the school:
Frequently Asked Questions: Modified Guidance on Mask Use and Quarantine in K-12 Schools
On November 12, 2020, the guidance related to identifying close contacts in the school setting was modified. If the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the close contact were both wearing masks appropriately during the time of exposure in the school setting, the close contact would not need to quarantine.
Yes, if the school has implemented a mask mandate, AND appropriate masks were being worn correctly by both individuals during the time of exposure in the school setting, the individual who came in contact with the person with COVID-19 does not have to quarantine at home.
If the school has not implemented a mask mandate then close contacts in the school setting should continue to follow the previously established quarantine protocol, with close contacts quarantining at home for 14 days, regardless of mask use.
Please refer to page 7 of the Missouri School Reopening & Operating Guidance.
The amended guidance is specific to the use of appropriate masks. Face shields or desk shields are not substitutes for the use of appropriate masks.
Yes. The updated guidance includes students, teachers, and staff at K-12 schools.
The updated guidance only applies if the person diagnosed with COVID-19 AND the close contact were both wearing masks appropriately during the time of exposure in the school setting. Please refer to the visual aid “Wear a Mask. Stay in School.”
Persons seated greater than 6 feet apart would not be considered a close contact. However, there are many instances where teachers and students interact in the classroom and therefore, can result in the teacher and/or other students in the classroom meeting the criteria as a close contact and requiring quarantine. A school’s mask mandate that requires appropriate mask use at all times would ensure they are in compliance with the updated guidance.
No. The individual with COVID-19 still must isolate and not return to school until the criteria is met for release from isolation.
No. The amended guidance is specific to the K-12 school setting.
The guidance establishes a minimum baseline for utilization by local public health authorities. Local public health agencies wishing to establish more stringent guidance for quarantine determinations, or follow standing CDC guidance within their jurisdiction, may choose to do so.
The decision regarding the timing of the implementation of the new guidance is a joint decision of the local education authorities (LEAs) and the local public health agencies (LPHAs).
Yes. If the school has a mask mandate and both the individual with COVID-19 and the exposed individual were each properly wearing an appropriate mask at the time that the quarantine determination was made, the student may return to school.
Mask use should be part of the standard interview process for all COVID-19 cases identified among students, teachers, and staff at K-12 schools. The findings of the investigation (duration of close contact, mask use, etc.) will determine the identification of close contacts and recommendation for quarantine.
The school setting includes all classrooms, gyms, library, playgrounds, buses, etc.
It is important to continue to ask questions and assess the opportunity for exposures for all cases. If an individual at school meets the CDC definition of a close contact and either the case or the close contact were not wearing masks, then the close contact would need to quarantine. Physical distancing continues to be an important mitigation strategy for schools, especially during times when students cannot wear their masks, such as meal times.
What about exposures during recess, PE, or activities such as sports, band, on the bus, etc.?
It is important to continue to ask questions and assess the opportunity for exposures for all cases. If an individual at school meets the CDC definition of a close contact and either the case or the close contact were not wearing masks, then the close contact would need to quarantine.
No. The updated guidance is specific to exposures that occur while in the school setting.
The revised guidance only serves to exclude from quarantine those in circumstances in which the individual with COVID-19 and the exposed individuals were all properly wearing masks in the school classroom setting only; it does not exclude such individuals from being considered close contacts for sports or other extracurricular school related activities.
The revised guidance is limited to determinations of close contacts in school settings only. Observational analysis of 8 months of experience with this novel emerging virus have shown for this age cohort in a school setting that given the overall advantages of in person learning for children, at this time in this setting, this is a reasonable approach.
The infectious disease doctors working with DHSS and DESE on K-12 guidance provided some references related to transmission and masks on the final page of the Missouri School Reopening and Operating Guidance document.
mask mandate letter