Governor Parsons released information on changes in the State’s K-12 School quarantine guidance on November 12, 2020. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released guidance on this change for schools to follow. According to the information gathered and after speaking to both the Lawrence and Barry Counties, masks are now being considered in the quarantine process.

Governor Parsons’ Press Release on Changes in State’s K-12 School Quarantine Guidance 
“Under the updated guidance, proper mask wearing may now prevent individuals from being quarantined as close contacts in K-12 schools that have implemented a mask mandate. This means that if both individuals at school - the person diagnosed with COVID-19 and the person exposed to the positive case - have masks on and are wearing them correctly, the individual exposed does not need to quarantine for class only. 

Exposed individuals should self monitor for symptoms and stay home at the first sign of illness. They should also continue to wear a mask at all times to further reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus. The person who tests positive for COVID-19 is still required to isolate at home. 

Close contacts in K-12 schools should continue to quarantine at home for 14 days if (1) their school does not require students and staff to wear masks or (2) the mask was not being worn appropriately by either person diagnosed with COVID-19 or the person who was exposed.” 

The facial covering requirement will be expanded to include all students in grades PreK-12, starting on Monday, November 30th, after the Thanksgiving Break. This update will only affect students in grades PreK-2, as students in 3-12 have been wearing facial coverings since the school year began. Students that fall within the six feet category will still be notified of possible exposure and their names will be given to the health department. 

 All students are required to wear a face covering, but only during times in which students cannot physically distance themselves from others. As a recommendation from both Lawrence and Barry County Health Departments, face shields will not be considered facial coverings. Form-fitting masks and gaiters must have two layers of protection; thin 1 ply gaiters will not count in preventing quarantine.

Quarantine students and staff must wait to return to school until a school official has made contact with further details. Students and staff exposed to COVID-19 outside of school will be required to quarantine and follow the local health department guidelines before returning to school. This new mandate only applies to exposures that happen in the classroom where all individuals were masked properly.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shared this FAQ that will help answer your questions. This graphic shows a visual representation of the information shared above. 

***MES ONLY***
Monett Elementary School students will receive one free mask and clips on Monday, November 30, 2020, for grades PreK-2nd provided by the Monett School District. The purpose of the mask clips and pouch is to give students a safe place to store facial covering during breaks. We understand some students may have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing a mask, if this is the case, a physician's note must be supplied. The safety and wellness of students and staff continues to be our number one priority. 

Thank you, 
Monett R-1 Schools