December 10, 2021
Re: Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s Letter to Missouri Public Schools
On December 7, 2021, all superintendents in the state of Missouri received a letter from Attorney General Eric Schmitt regarding the Order from Cole County that was entered on November 22, 2021. The letter states, “Under this judgment, all mask mandates, quarantine orders, and other public health orders that are based on any of the invalidated regulations or issued outside the protections of the Missouri Administrative Procedure Act are null and void.” The letter also states, “In addition, state law does not delegate authority to school officials to issue mask mandates, quarantine orders, or other public health orders.” With respect to excluding students from school, public schools have the authority to exclude students who have a communicable disease or who are liable to transmit a disease after exposure, pursuant to 167.191 RSMo.
What does this mean for Plato R-V?
The district will no longer exclude students because they are “close contacts” to positive cases of COVID-19. School districts already had and still have the direct statutory authority to exclude students who have a communicable disease, so students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be excluded from the school community until the end date of the contagious period as determined by a medical provider. Students may be excluded from school for a display of symptoms which may include fever of 100.4 degrees or more, chills, body aches, persistent cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, sore throat, and/or headache. Parents are encouraged to monitor students for symptoms, consult a family doctor in the case of illness, and keep sick children at home. Students should be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning to school.
Mitigation strategies such as cleaning, social distancing, increased handwashing, suggested masking practices, etc. will remain in effect. As well as a consistent review of the school district’s SRCSP regarding COVID-19 protocols. However, the school district will not actively declare any students quarantined due to close exposure. Students participating in sports will be subject to a 10-day isolation when a positive test is obtained due to MSHSAA policies and guidelines. All isolation, contact tracing, and quarantine decisions will be completely up to your local health department’s policies and protocols.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact central office at 417-458-3333 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plato R-V Superintendent