ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — The St. Charles County Health Department has agreed to a measure that would alter the quarantine plan followed by county school districts.
Under the modified plan, students and staff exposed to a COVID-19-positive person at school do not need to go into a traditional quarantine if both people were wearing masks at the time of the exposure.
Dr. Bernard Dubray is superintendent of Fort Zumwalt School District.
“As long as both parties are wearing masks properly, the exposed person has to quarantine at home, but can continue coming to school,” Dubray said. “That will really cut down on these hundreds of kids we've been quarantining that never turn positive or even develop symptoms. I think it's a good thing for kids.”
Clayton Herbst is a student at Timberland High School in Wentzville School District.
“I oppose it,” said Herbst. “I think it's an awful decision to go ahead with the governor's new guidelines and it's borderline negligent as everything's trending up with a 25 percent positivity rate. The number of cases and quarantines are on the rise.”
During modified quarantine, the person who was exposed to the COVID-positive person will be allowed to go to school during that time while wearing a mask -- but they'll be expected to remain in quarantine, otherwise.
“We have very few students who develop a positive case out of a positive exposure at school," Dubray said. "Very, very few -- less than two percent. I think we are quarantining a lot more kids than we need to be.”
Herbst said, “By saying 'if you were wearing a mask, you don't need to quarantine,' you're negating that masks are not 100 percent effective, and there's still going to be community spread.”
Dubray said students in modified quarantine will not be allowed to participate in sports or extra-curricular activities. The measure goes into effect for all five St. Charles County school districts on Monday.