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Rockwood school board votes to extend mask requirement through Feb. 3

Rockwood planned to go to a mask-optional plan starting on Jan. 18, but the board voted 4-2 to move that date back.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The Rockwood Board of Education voted to extend a mask requirement in all schools through Feb. 3.

The board voted 4-2 to approve the change. One member was absent from the meeting, which was held virtually. The latest plan called for masks to be recommended but not required at all Rockwood buildings starting Jan. 18, the first day of the second semester.

The Rockwood Board of Education met virtually Tuesday night to debate the best plan of action for the district. School officials took another look at the Rockwood Safe Together plan. The last update to the plan was made back on Dec. 17.

The board said it was time to take a second look at this plan because coronavirus cases are on the rise.

Last week, 548 students in the Rockwood School District tested positive for COVID-19, a major increase compared to the 112 students who tested positive two weeks before.

According to the Rockwood Safe Together plan approved last month, students who have had close contact with COVID-19 but are deemed healthy don’t have to quarantine. That plan will remain in place.

The district's plan to stop sending out building-wide notifications of a positive COVID-19 case will also remain. The board said close contacts of a person with COVID-19 would be notified, and the district website would be updated with the latest COVID-19 numbers.

The board also updated the quarantine guidance to align with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. According to that guidance, people who test positive should quarantine for five days. If the person is asymptomatic at the end of those five days, they can return to normal activities if they wear a mask. The mask requirement ends after five more days.

If a student or teacher comes into contact with someone who tested positive, they can remain in school if they do not have any symptoms, the plan states. If they do have symptoms, they need to stay home for the next five days.

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