ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — COVID-19 cases among students and staff members in St. Louis County schools are continuing to increase, according to a new report from the health department.
For the week ending on Dec. 4, staff cases were at their highest and student cases were at their second highest for the current school year, the report stated. In that same week, there were 551 pediatric COVID cases overall in the county, which is more than any single week since November of 2020.
In its report, the health department said COVID-19 is spreading throughout the county "unchecked."
“Because of this, mitigation measures including vaccination, masking, keeping kids home when they are sick, and getting tested remain critical for keeping our school communities safe,” the department stated in the report.
Read the full report from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health below:
Recently, several school districts in the county are making changes or considering modifications to their COVID policies.
This comes on the heels of Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sending letters to districts claiming enforcing masks, quarantines and other safety protocols are illegal.
Schmitt sent letters on Dec. 7, with details about last month's court ruling out of Cole County, Missouri. Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that health orders issued by local health authorities in Missouri are illegal and should be lifted. He said the orders violate the Missouri Constitution’s separation of powers clause affecting the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
Green ordered all existing health orders issued by local health officials are “null and void.”
The ruling forced St. Louis County to rescind its mask mandate last week.
Schmitt encouraged parents to report districts to his office who are still enforcing mask mandates and quarantines. When his office receives a complaint, it sends a cease and desist letter to the district.
Some districts have said they believe they have the right to enact their own masks mandates and other COVID-19 policies, despite the Cole County ruling.
All districts still require students to wear a mask on school buses, per federal transportation guidelines.
For a list of St. Louis area schools and their COVID policies, click here.