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St. Charles County Council tables controversial quarantine resolution for students

The resolution was tabled after two and a half hours of debate with belief that there could be a statewide action in the next 10 days with updated guidance

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — Students in St. Charles County must still abide by the county health department's quarantine guidelines after the council Monday night tabled a controversial resolution that would have given more authority to school districts.

Sponsored by Commissioners Joe Cronin and Joe Brazil, Resolution 21-09 requested the St. Charles County Executive to remove the power of the county health department when deciding when students must quarantine after a COVID exposure.

It added that individual school boards and administrators are better situated than the county health department to make decisions regarding the health of kids.

The resolution also asked that the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services supply every school with COVID testing supplies.

The debate during the county council meeting that was supposed to be over quarantines devolved into a series of rants about masks, vaccinations, the constitution, refugees, and racism -- leading one councilman to remark about how the issue has caused further divide in the community.

The resolution was tabled after two and a half hours of debate with belief that there could be a statewide action in the next 10 days that provides an updated guidance on student quarantines and the actions that local health departments and schools should take.

"I think the Department of Health and Senior Services will revisit this issue of contact quarantining for school kids,” said Sen. Bob Onder.  “I think whether the state does anything or not this council has the authority to set things right."

"I don't want a government solution,” said Corey Shires. “I want parents to be parents. I want them to take control of their house. I don't want the government involved in those decisions."

"I think this was a wise decision,” said Amy Robertson.  “I think it's important that we go into making decisions not with a knee-jerk reaction, but also with an open mind."

The commissioners agreed to revisit the resolution at its next meeting but said a special meeting could be called if there's no action from the state.