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Jefferson City Schools drops mask requirement, changes quarantine protocols

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

The Jefferson City School District will drop its mask requirement starting Friday. Students and staff who are in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual will no longer need to quarantine in most cases.

JC Schools contacted families to announced the change Thursday morning. In a news release, the school district said the changes are because there are fewer close contact cases than last school year, and there have not been any close contact cases in the school that turned out to be positive cases.

Those who are identified as a close contact case outside of school will still be required to quarantine. Masks will still be encouraged, especially for unvaccinated people.

The school district will implement a color system to monitor the progression of cases in schools. On Friday, all schools will be in the green category -- which means the least stringent mitigation procedures will be in place. If schools move into the yellow or red categories, more mitigation strategies will be introduced until data shows the school is back in the green category. JC Schools will be updating this system on a weekly basis based on school and community spread on the school website.

Superintendent Larry Lintchacum said in a statement that the school will be monitoring COVID-19 cases along with the county health department.

"The district is fully prepared to make necessary changes to our mitigation protocols if the data warrants doing so," Linthacum said. "We will be continually assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of these changes, and if we see any alarming changes to the number of cases within the school environment then we will move back to tighter protocols."

The district reported 11 active student and one active staff case as of Wednesday. Cole County has recorded 110 cases over the last seven days, according to the state health department, putting it at No. 42 for most cases per capita in the state. New cases have increased 5.8% during that time period, according to state numbers.

Check back for updates to this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6.

Article Topic Follows: Jefferson City
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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

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