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SJSD officials address contact tracing

District officials say a lot goes into what mandates an individual being quarantined and in turn impacting classrooms and activities and it starts with the partnership with the health department.

Posted: Sep 16, 2020 3:10 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District has 24 total staff and student COVID-19 cases.

Those numbers are according to the most recent figures from the district, but the concern is coming in the amount of students and staff in quarantine.

The questions being raised regarding COVID-19 and the St. Joseph School District stems from who is quarantined and how it's decided.

Per Friday's latest numbers, the district releases the numbers once a week.

There are 212 students and 48 staff in quarantine.

With the rise in individual quarantine it's impacting a lot of schools in the district and also sports and competitions.

While the district does not release if individual teams have a COVID-19 case, we've seen a lot of teams reschedule or move games in two week increments.

District officials say a lot goes into what mandates an individual being quarantined and in turn impacting classrooms and activities and it starts with the partnership with the health department.

"I think it's a really great partnership that we have with the city and the health department trying to work through those processes,” Robert Sigristm Director of Non-Academic Support and Student Services said. “We want to share as much information as we can with them to make sure we’re keeping our student-athletes safe and they're doing the best they can and sometimes that contact tracing takes a little bit of time to contact all of those people, we're working to do that with them, too."

Another contributing factor to the number of quarantined students and staff compared to this summer when the district did not have a report of a student- athlete testing positive.

Now, students are in the classroom for seven and a half hours together a day.

Teams also spent the summer working in smaller groups, but now they're around all of their teammates, and obviously competing against different schools.

District officials say if your student or students are in close contact to a positive case, that individual school will send a letter, an email or a phone call to notify you if your student needs to be quarantined

On a good note, Lindbergh Elementary is set to reopen for students and staff on Wednesday, September 23.

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A cool forecast is in store for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas this week. Fall-like weather will usher into the area Monday with highs mainly in the 60s and no hazardous weather expected through the week. The area could see its first frost Friday morning as the lows drop into the low-to-mid 30s.
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