KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The state of Missouri is changing its guidelines for students and staff who have been exposed to COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced the new guidelines.
Students, teachers and staff who have been exposed to someone with the virus will be allowed to stay in school and participate in extracurricular activities.
The new set of rules are called test to stay.
Charlotte Gelineau’s granddaughter was out school for days because of an exposure.
She said even though her granddaughter never contracted the virus she missed more than a week of school.
“It was a 10 day quarantine,” Gelineau said.
The state said people exposed at home would not qualify but if they’re exposed away from home or in a setting that’s lower risk, they could keep coming to school if they’re tested and symptom-free.
“Then they can go back to school and not disrupt the plans that the parents have already made for those children,” Dolores Limpic, a Gladstone resident said.
The decision is up to local health departments where the schools are.
Some districts across state line like Blue Valley and Desoto are starting the new option as well.
Students, teachers, and staff must take at least three rapid antigen tests within the first seven days of being contacted and test negative before entering the school.
Grandparents like Gelineau are happy this gives students an option to be in the classroom if they are exposed but are negative for the virus.
“She learns more in school and she has friends, so it’s both academic and social,” Gelineau said.
Another part of these new rules is anyone who was exposed and can stay in school would need to always wear a mask indoors.