MISSOURI — Fewer Missouri students could be heading home for quarantine after an announcement from the state Thursday. There’s new guidance to K-12 school districts about masks and quarantine. It says in some cases, students can stay in school.
Melissa Massey, SW Ceter for Excellence, said, “I think schools have run into problems with attendance.”
But the new state guidance may change that. It says that quarantine is not required when a student wearing a mask comes in close contact with a patient who tests positive, but also had been wearing a mask.
Melinda Moss, Joplin Schools Superintendent, said, “So in a nutshell , a mask plus mask equals no quarantine.”
So Joplin schools is changing its mask policy, masks will be required whenever social distancing isn’t possible.
“Some districts have exploded in quarantines more than others – it’s still a concern for all schools. And as our rates are going up in Joplin city limits as well as jasper county, we are seeing a trend line following just a little behind that.”
Joplin principals can modify that as needed for students in individual schools. Carl Junction school leaders already had a mask mandate in place and expect their students to benefit from the quarantine change.
Phil Cook, CJ R-1 Superintendent, said, “It’s just a very small number that actually contract the virus from a close contact at school. It’s really low. So we’ve been waiting for this guidance and this extra flexibility for a while.”
They also point out this won’t eliminate student quarantines.
“Over half of the students we have that are in quarantine, uh are quarantined because of contact outside of school.”
One point of clarification from the Webb City School District – any students currently quarantined are not affected by the change. They still have to finish out that quarantine period.