virus update 2

Local Covid cases are climbing rapidly, but so far the spread of the Omicron variant hasn't dramatically altered local school schedules.

All three school system have had cases of both students and staff testing positive as they began going back to class this week following the long Christmas break. Those case numbers could climb in the coming weeks as the impact of Christmas and New Year's gatherings where the virus was spread takes hold.

While not yet a crisis, all three school districts are taking action to keep the highly-contagious Omicron variant at bay.

"We are planning to implement flex plans to limit student movement throughout the school day and reduce the number of interactions and direct contacts," said Jefferson City School System Donna McMullan. "We will implement these additional measures for the next several weeks in an effort to safely transition back into the buildings and mitigate the potential effects of the extended break."

In Commerce Superintendent Joy Tolbert said the system is avoiding meeting in large groups and that Zoom meetings are being used in some situations with staff learning programs.

"We continue to encourage hand washing and sanitizing touch surfaces," Tolbert said.

The Jackson County School System is taking similar measures, said Superintendent April Howard.

"We are reinforcing our sanitizing protocols and practicing social distancing as feasible," she said. "We revised our guidance for parents and are encouraging students and staff to take appropriate precautions and encourage (not requiring) masks."


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