The Missouri Health Department released the Wear a Mask, Stay in School initiative on November 12, changing guidelines across the state.

The Monroe City R-1 School District (MCR-1) continues to change as guidelines continue to be updated by the state. On November 14, the school released a mask initiative updating the policies, which went into effect on November 16.

The new guidance for schools state that, in schools with mask initiatives, appropriately wearing a mask can now prevent individuals from being identified quarantined and those individuals can continue going to school if they do not show symptoms of COVID-19.

Monroe City R-1 School District has initiated mask wearing in all grades as of Monday, based on a vast increase in COVID positive cases in our immediate area and the new guidelines.

MCR-1 will continue to contact trace all positive COVID-19 cases. If it is determined that masks were worn by both the person who tested positive and the close contact, the close contact should self-monitor, but is not required to quarantine. All Close contact exposures will be allowed to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days. Academic work will be provided virtually to anyone in quarantine and attendance will be adjusted due to quarantine. Those choosing to not wear their masks are subject to a 14 day quarantine if exposed to a COVID-19 positive case. Masks will not be needed while eating or in settings where the instructor has deemed social distancing guidelines are safe being six feet apart. Masks will be provided on a daily basis if available. If a student has a health impairment and cannot wear a mask, MCR-1 asks parents to contact building principals for further guidance.

MCR-1 Superintendent Tony DeGrave states, “The employees of the MCR-1 District will not be the mask police. We ask parents to discuss mask wearing with your child, I understand there will be times when masking just doesn’t work. The School District will pilot the mask initiative until Christmas break on December 22. At that time, a determination will be made on how to move forward.”

Missouri continues to see record numbers of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Local public health experts with the One for All Missouri campaign are urging Missourians to do everything possible to stop the spread and reduce the strain on our hospitals. Informal gatherings among friends and families are contributing to the high number of COVID cases in our state. Keep your loved ones safe by minimizing contact with people you do not live with. 

Limit your exposure to the virus to protect yourself and the people around you. Wear a face mask that covers your nose and mouth. Stay home as much as possible. Limit your outings to only necessary trips. Use curbside pickup instead of shopping or eating indoors. Wash your hands frequently, with soap, for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your face. Stay home if you or anyone in your home is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.