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Power over school quarantine rules could shift in St. Charles County

Council members will discuss a resolution that essentially takes the health department out of decisions concerning when students have to quarantine due to COVID-19

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — A big decision is on the table Monday evening in St. Charles County. It affects how students in the county will, or won’t, quarantine because of COVID-19.

The County Council is meeting about a resolution that would essentially take the health department out of decisions concerning when students have to quarantine because of COVID-19 exposures. Some people are planning to speak out against it.

Resolution 21-09 is up for discussion during Monday’s meeting.

The St. Charles County Council believes that the state regulations on COVID-19 exposure and quarantine are hurting students' ability to learn.

The resolution says individual school boards and administrators are better situated than the County Health Department to make decisions on student quarantine rules.

It cites Resolution 21-02, which states "The St. Charles County Council hereby affirms that it has no authority to regulate school districts, that authority being reserved to each school district's elected school board and the State of Missouri..."

According to the Missouri Department of Public Health, the number of people quarantined has gone up by 152 percent over the past two weeks.

At the end of August, Fort Zumwalt schools, which were 'mask optional' at the time, had more than 350 students in quarantine after classes started in person.

READ: More than 400 Fort Zumwalt students are in quarantine due to COVID contact

Members of the ‘St. Charles Citizens for Safer Schools’ group announced in a post on Facebook that they plan to pack the meeting and speak out against Resolution 21-09.

This isn’t the first time some people in the county have asked for stricter COVID-19 measures in schools.

MORE: Pro-mask parents push for more action from St. Charles County Health Department

About a month ago, some St. Charles County parents protested the County Health Department, demanding they outline more detailed quarantine procedures and require masks in all county schools.

The St. Charles County Council goes into closed session at 6 p.m., a work session is at 6:30 p.m. and the public meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.