ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Rockwood School District’s Board of Education held an emergency virtual meeting Tuesday night where a majority of the board voted to require masks in the district through at least Feb. 3.
The district had unanimously voted in December to make masks recommended, but not required, starting January 18. Tuesday’s vote changed those plans. This comes amid a surge of coronavirus cases in the area.
During Tuesday night’s meeting, the interim superintendent for the district, Tim Ricker presented data that showed there were 942 new COVID cases reported in the district the entire first half of the school year from Aug. 24, 2021, to Dec. 21, 2021.
The district reported 1337 new COVID cases, from Dec. 22, 2021, to Jan. 10, 2022. In less than three weeks, in which a majority of the time students were not in school due to winter break, the district surpassed its covid case count that had been calculated in a four-month span.
The district sent out a letter to families after Tuesday night’s vote and detailed the changes, which go into effect Wednesday, January 12:
- “A positive student/staff member will need to stay at home for 5 days and if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours), they may return to school followed by 5 days of wearing a mask (even if the district is in a mask recommended setting).
- Students and staff who are close contacts and healthy may remain in school.
- This practice will be retroactive back to January 3, 2022 and include those individuals who had been quarantined. Notices to all who are in this category to return if asymptomatic will be sent tomorrow.
- A close contact to a positive student/staff member who has multiple symptoms will need to stay home and may return after 5 days if they are asymptomatic and they have been fever free for 24 hours. They may return sooner if they are well and have a physician’s diagnosis other than COVID or produce a negative COVID test (not a home test).
- Building-wide notifications of positive cases will end. (Close contacts of a positive case will still receive a notification, and the Health Indicators by school on the website will continue to be updated twice a day).