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Lack of substitute teachers forces area high school to temporarily go virtual

The school is struggling to cover the high number of instructional staff that are quarantined due to COVID-19.

WARREN COUNTY, Mo. — The Warren County R-3 School district high school in Warrenton is switching to an all-virtual teaching format, until Friday, Oct. 2 due to a shortage of available substitute teachers.

The district made the announcement, Tuesday afternoon on its Facebook page.

The school is struggling to cover the high number of instructional staff that are quarantined due to COVID-19.

The Facebook post also announced that despite the move to an all-virtual format, all activities will go on as scheduled. All other buildings in the district will remain open, including Alpha Academy and Tech School. Warrenton High School said it plans to return to regular school hours on Tuesday, Oct. 6.

COVID-19 in Warren County

As of Sept. 29, there have been 525 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the county. There has been one death related to the virus, according to the county's website.

Warren County was recently in the news after 11,000 people attended an outdoor event at a local winery amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"Pyromania" is one of the region's largest fireworks shows and it's held annually at Cedar Lake Cellars. Although the coronavirus pandemic has canceled many events, this show is one that still went on.

The nation’s top fireworks choreographers gathered at Pyromania to showcase their "concerts in the sky," which are artistic combinations of music and pyrotechnics. A spokesperson for the event said based upon ticket sales, they estimated that 11,000 people were in attendance. 

Laura Galati lives in Ballwin and attended the event. 

"I wasn’t afraid I mean our group was stuck together where we were sitting at," she said. "People weren’t standing close like they usually do and people were pretty mindful."

Galati said she felt "pretty safe" at the event. 

"I think everyone stuck to their own little group and family," she added. "It was a beautiful day, a great time with friends."

Chris Jackson-Wade lives in Wright City and she's been to the event before. 

"Everybody kept their social distance," she said. "It’s a huge space." 

She said she felt completely safe at the event. 

Cedar Lake Cellars said it worked closely with the Warren County Health Department during the planning phases.