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Lincoln County schools to loosen COVID protocols after health order ruling

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Lincoln County schools to loosen COVID protocols after health order ruling

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. — The Winfield R-IV School District is the first in the St. Louis area to loosen COVID-19 protocols for its students after Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that health orders such as quarantines violate the Missouri Constitution’s separation of powers clause.

The judge ordered that all existing health orders issued by local health authorities are “null and void.”

During Monday night’s school board meeting, district leaders approved modifying their close contact protocol to align with the court ruling. The district will no longer require students or staff to quarantine if they do not have symptoms and were a close contact with someone who tested positive to COVID-19.

“Once we saw that court ruling come out last week, we were very motivated to take action,” said Winfield R-IV School District Superintendent Daniel Williams. “Following judge Green’s decision last week, we met Monday night and really recognized that the original guidance from DESE and DHSS were not valid at this point.”

Superintendent Williams said students who have symptoms will still have to quarantine unless they test negative for the virus, or have a note from a healthcare professional.

 “We’ve been extremely blessed here in Winfield that our numbers have stayed extremely low,” the superintendent said.

Among the more than 1500 students across the district’s four schools, there are currently seven students and two staff members that have tested positive for COVID-19. Six students are considered close contacts, according to the district’s data released this week.

“The data that really helped drive our decision is that the large percentage of students who we were quarantining from school and restricting their ability to have in-person instruction where we had such a very low percentage of student and staff testing positive,” Superintendent Williams said.

Tom Ellersieck, a grandparent of four students in the district said some of his grandchildren had to be quarantined in the past.

“I’m an ex-teacher and I think they need to be in school and they need to be safe in school,” he said.
Superintendent Williams said the community overall has welcomed this change of loosened protocols but will continue to keep an eye out on cases.

“In many communities throughout the country, there have been very different opinions on how to approach mitigating measures on covid, and I think at this juncture our Board of Education is certainly representing their constituents well.”

FOX 2’s Zara Barker asked Williams if there was some concern due to the Omicron variant.

 “I think over the last 18 months there is concern with everything that is mentioned, I think right now it is a really wait and see, we really rely upon the officials that are in a position to give schools guidance,” he said.

View the letter district officials sent to parents below:

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Sunny skies Tuesday with high temps in the low-50s

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Sunny skies Tuesday with high temps in the low-50s

ST. LOUIS- The city of Maryland Heights’ Economic Development Commission meets Tuesday night to discuss a number of local projects, including an update on plans to bring new restaurant life to a former Steak N’ Shake restaurant.

The restaurant, formerly located at 12607 Dorsett, was one of many Steak N’ Shake locations to close in the St. Louis area in 2019, when the company shut down more than half a dozen of them while in search of franchise partners.

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Amid rising customer complaints, The Denver Post wants to hear about your experience at Vail Resorts this season

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Vail opens Pete’s Express in Blue Sky Basin

Several months into the 2021-22 ski season, Vail Resorts is facing increasing customer complaints at several of its ski resorts across the country.

A change.org petition to “Hold Vail Resorts accountable” for alleged ski area mismanagement this season reached 40,000 signatures on Sunday, with some calling for Epic Pass holders not to renew.

The Denver Post wants to hear what your experience has been at Vail Resorts locations so far this season. Fill out the form below if you’re interested in sharing your story to be used in a future story.

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Blues fans find their car windshield smashed as they leave game Monday

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Blues fans find their car windshield smashed as they leave game Monday

JEFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt doubled-down on his efforts to bring Missouri school districts to court for continuing to enforce mask mandates.

“Last month, I informed a number of school districts that their decision to continue to enforce mask mandates is illegal and must be stopped immediately,” Schmitt said. “Some school districts dropped their mask mandates and quarantine orders, but others continue to defy the law, despite the fact that COVID-19 poses very little risk to children.”

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