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Multiple schools across Mid-Missouri close doors citing sick staff and COVID-19 case increase

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Multiple school districts throughout Mid-Missouri have announced plans this week to temporarily close their doors or make changes to their COVID-19 guidelines, due to problems created by the coronavirus surge.

The Southern Boone School District will not be closing school, but the district's Board of Education voted to changed its COVID-19 plan Tuesday night. The plan originally called for masks if cases reach a certain threshold, but after Tuesday night's board meeting, masks will only be recommended. The school board also made changes to quarantines and isolations.

The following changes apply to all students and staff regardless of vaccination status and will go into effect Thursday.

  • For positive cases only, five-day isolation with return on sixth day 
  • Negative test is not required to return to school
  • Day 0 – symptom onset or date of test with a positive result 
  • Day 1-5, isolation
  • Day 6, end of isolation, after five full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your symptoms have been improving.
  • Face masks are recommended for days 6-10, when returning to school after five-day isolation.
  • All contract tracing will cease from the district’s perspective.
  • No out-of-school isolation for close contacts unless symptoms occur.
  • Any symptom that warrants a student or staff member to exit a building will follow the current policy for return, unless verified with a positive test, which would then require isolation.
  • These approved changes will be retroactive to remove any isolation for students currently out that are not experiencing symptoms or have completed the full five-day isolation from the onset of positive test.

Moberly School District is the latest of several schools saying classes will not be in session temporarily due to staffing shortages and illness.

The district plans to close Thursday and Friday because too many staff members are out sick.

Breakfast and lunch options are available for pickup for students between 1 and 2 p.m. Thursday at Moberly High School but must be ordered in advance. Extracurricular activities will continue as long as there are enough students and staff for them, the distract said.

Moberly School District reported 89 active coronavirus cases among students and staff Wednesday.

Jefferson City School District called a "snow day" for Friday in order to ease the strain due to the ongoing sub shortage as the number of staff absences increases.

Jefferson City School District reported 68 active student coronavirus cases, and 26 active staff cases.

Jefferson City Schools and Columbia Public Schools also began requiring masks in all school buildings this week in response to the massive rise in new cases over the past few weeks. Boone and Cole counties lead the state in new coronavirus cases per capita.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt this week threatened lawsuits against districts that bring back mask requirements.

Columbia Public Schools will hold teacher workdays and school will not be in session Friday, Monday and Tuesday. CPS reported 303 active coronavirus cases among students and 88 active cases among staff Wednesday.

Boonville schools will be online-only Thursday and Friday, and potentially Monday and Tuesday, because of too many staff illnesses.

Boonville schools reported 27 active coronavirus cases among students and 13 positive cases among staff Wednesday.

Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City closed school Tuesday, creating a four-day weekend after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in an effort to minimize potential exposures. Helias announced Jan. 12, that all students, faculty and staff will be required to wear masks anywhere that social distancing of 3 feet cannot be maintained.

Check back and watch ABC 17 News at 9 and 10 for more on this developing story.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus
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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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