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State education leaders, local schools update COVID-19 policies

FILE - A discarded mask sits outside Rock Bridge High School in this file photo.
KMIZ
FILE - A discarded mask sits outside Rock Bridge High School in this file photo.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Gone are the days of school kids being required to wear masks.

But schools still must adopt policies to deal with COVID-19 infections.

Missouri education officials released updated guidance for schools this week as most public schools are resuming classes or preparing to do so soon.

The changes follow new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency is relaxing its guidance amid increased levels of immunity from vaccination and previous infections with the coronavirus.

Among the changes identified by the CDC are ending quarantine recommendations and changing mask guidance. The CDC still recommends that kids and teachers get vaccinated and stay home when they're sick. The agency also recommends schools have adequate ventilation.

The state government says it plans to again make rapid antigen tests available to schools.

ABC 17 News is checking in on select school districts in Mid-Missouri as they update their COVID-19 policies. Those policies that have been updated and posted online are linked below.

Columbia: Columbia was one of the last area school districts to require masks but that rule has long been gone. The district last updated its plan in March but expects to add new CDC guidelines that must be approved by the school board.

Jefferson City: Jefferson City is maintaining its tiered COVID-19 policy that bases mitigation measures on the number of infections and hospitalizations in the community. The tighter protocols can be drilled down to a classroom level.

Southern Boone: The Southern Boone School District updated its COVID-19 plan on Aug. 15. Among the points laid out in the plan is that the district is not responsible for the quarantine of close contacts. Positive cases will have to isolate for five days.

Mexico School District: Mexico updated its plan in June. It includes a checklist for COVID-19 symptoms and outlines steps to take if students are infected.

Sedalia School District: Sedalia updated its plan in July. It includes a section about what the district is doing to help students with mental health resources.

Hallsville School District: Hallsville's school board approved the district plan Aug. 17. It includes a reminder that the USDA's universal free lunch program has ended and an outline of what infected students and staff should do whether they have symptoms or not.

Boonville School District: Boonville schools updated its plan in July. The plan works on tiers similar to those in the Jefferson City School District.

Article Topic Follows: Education
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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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