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Carl Junctions response to Governor's guidelines

Last Thursday, Governor Parson announced that schools could now consider the wearing of masks when determining the quarantining of students that are close-contacts. This new guidance does NOT change our plan in any way. Prior to this new guidance, the criteria for close contact was within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more regardless of whether the students were wearing a mask. Previously, contract tracers did not ask if masks were being worn. The only change our contact tracers will be making is asking the question of whether an appropriate mask was worn by both the positive student and the close contact. If the answer is yes, there may be consideration to not quarantine the student that is not positive and was wearing his/her mask properly. As before, each close contact will be handled and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Please note, the district is NOT RELAXING any part of our plan. If anything, we are more vigorously promoting the wearing of masks when students cannot social-distance.

Governor Parson made this change based upon the encouragement of schools across Missouri.  Like Carl Junction, schools are experiencing low numbers of students who test positive for the virus after being quarantined because of close contact at school. The data supports that too. Many students across the state are losing precious instructional time by being quarantined and then not contracting the virus. In Carl Junction, of the “school-aged” students in a general education classroom who are quarantined due to possible exposure at school, only 2.6% may have become positive from that contact at school. 

This new guidance reinforces the practices that we have in place to keep students and staff safe. The majority of our quarantines are from contact outside of school. We will continue to err on the side of community safety when contact tracing at school. We also continue to ask you, as parents, to complete the morning health check with your students, make sure that they have a clean mask every day as they head off to school, and to reinforce the benefits of wearing a mask.

We all need to do our part to keep ourselves and others safe. Wear a Mask. Stay in school.