Modified quarantine guidelines for students in Greene County schools

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 9:49 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The Springfield -Greene County Health Department is changing its coronavirus quarantine guidelines for schools in the area, matching them with those handed down from the state last week.

“We know how important it is to keep kids in the classroom as much as possible,” said Jon Mooney, Assistant Health Department Director, Springfield-Greene County.

It’s why local health and school officials have been taking a closer look at the current data and guidelines.

“Our partnership as well as input from other experts really reflects growing evidence that there seems to be a lower risk of transmission, passing COVID-19 to one another in a masked classroom setting,” he said.

These modified quarantine guidelines are very strict and very clear. Students exposed to the virus can stay in school if they and the person infected were masked. This is information is obtained through the contact tracing process.

But the student may not participate in extracurricular activities. They must go directly home and remain in quarantine there while not in school.

Stephen Hall with Springfield Schools said, “We view this as a positive step forward. We believe that it’s measured. It’s very strict guidance.”

Large districts, like Springfield Schools will be reviewing circumstances of students currently in quarantine.

“This is not a radical change. This is trying to strike a balance to where we can continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19 but we also allow students who have been masking and adhering to the health and safety guidelines to continue attending school,” said Hall.

Smaller districts like Willard are bringing back those students immediately.

“We’re really excited about it. Our numbers indicate that it’s not school spread, and the masks are definitely working in our district,” said superintendent Matt Teeter.

The decision for modified quarantine will be made on a case-by-case basis. They could be rolled back at any time should cases begin to rise.

“Everything with COVID is ever-changing, ever-evolving. We just want to make sure we’re being most responsive to slowing the spread of the virus and slowing the spread in our community, to help protect it,” said Mooney.

These revised guidelines only apply to districts in the county that have a masking mandate for all students and faculty.

Currently, Republic Schools does not have one in place. School officials released a statement Monday stating that starting December 3rd everyone will be required to mask up while on campus.

The district will then adhere to the modified quarantine guidelines set forth by the health department.

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