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All Missouri schools open for some type of classes, Gov. Parson says

All Missouri public schools are back in session this week, whether in-person, online or a hybrid of the two for classes. “We want our kids in school.” Gov. Mike Parson said, “and we will continue to do everything we can to keep them safe, healthy and moving forward.”

Dr. Margie Vandeven, state education commissioner, and Dr. Randall Williams, state Department of Health and Senior Services director, met last week, with leaders of Missouri schools and local public health agencies to assess COVID-19 mitigation strategies, state guidance for school masking, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation.

The governor said Missouri’s colleges and universities also are off to a good start. Parson said he had a recent conference call with the presidents of Missouri’s four-year universities to discuss the status of COVID on college campuses.

“We received updates on the opening of the fall semester, COVID-19 mitigation and testing protocols, as well as new and future testing breakthroughs that may be utilized in the near future,” he said.

The governor emphasized that they also discussed the continued willingness of state officials to assist Missouri universities with testing, contact tracing and obtaining critical resources. He also warns that Missouri continues to see an increase in COVID cases for college-age students.

READ: Missouri parents want schools to stop blocking access to online classes

Meanwhile, the DHSS coronavirus dashboard cited 1,974 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 101,134. The state also added three new deaths. All told, 1,704 Missourians have died from COVID-19.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force recently said Missouri remains in the red zone for new cases with 150 per 100,000 residents added the previous week, the seventh-highest rate in the country. It was also in the yellow zone for positivity, with 9.7 percent of tests coming back positive for COVID-19, the ninth-highest rate in the country.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice