COVID-19+Live+Updates

Chase Redington

COVID-19 Live Updates

The most recent updates on the coronavirus situation.

March 16, 2020

With the recent outbreak gaining momentum, keeping up with COVID-19’s trajectory can be helpful and informative. Updates will be coming regularly throughout the days in the coming weeks. 

Update: Prom is Canceled for FHSD High Schools

On April 17, the Principals of the FHSD high schools released a statement that officially cancelled 2020 proms for the district. 

The message claimed: “This decision was not made lightly, but it is essential to protect the safety and health of our entire community.”

Junior Natalie White, social media officer of Junior Class, feels the decision was made too soon to cancel a prom their club has planned all year.

“I do not agree with the complete cancellation of prom this early,” White said. “I was really upset and shocked because I thought we were going to attempt to [reschedule] it but it was also kind of expected due to the severity of COVID-19.”

“As we continue through this unprecedented school year, we will strive to keep you informed of any additional developments,” stated in the message from FHSD.

Update: Corona’s Impact on Easter

Easter Sunday 2020 is one unlike the world has seen in a while. With most facilities already closed, churches are fighting to stay open and hold their annual Easter service. According to USA Today, pews at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Tallahassee, Florida are full of photos of church-goers that stayed home, having around 700 photos taped to the pews for the Easter service. Numerous churches around St. Louis are also continuing their services despite the risk.

Update: New Schedule for Online Classes

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Francis Howell School District

The new schedule for FHSD, effective April 20.

Starting the week of April 20, a new schedule will be in place for online school. Monday will consist of teachers’ office hours from 9:00 to 11:30, with faculty and PLC meetings lasting the duration of the school day. First, third, fifth and seventh hour classes will be moved to Tuesday, with their usual time slots remaining the same. These classes will also be held on Thursday. Second hour classes, office hours, and fourth hour and sixth hour classes will be moved to Wednesday and Friday, within the usual time frame. This schedule will remain in place for the remainder of the school year unless otherwise specified by FHSD. 

 

Update: Fourth Missouri Death Due to COVID-19 Is Woman in Her 30s

A St. Louis woman in her 30s has become the fourth person to see fatal results after contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She had not done any recent traveling, and how she contracted the disease is still unknown. However, Dr. Fredrick Echols, the city’s health director, said that it is too early to declare a case of community-spread. Being that she is the youngest death in Missouri by a considerable margin, Echols deemed her relative youth as “a cause for concern”. She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, but no further details about her or her previous health conditions have been released.

At 3 p.m., Governor Mike Parson gave a  live COVID-19 update on facebook. He announced today that the state Capitol in Jefferson City, as well as other state buildings will be closed to all but essential personnel. This will go into effect on Tuesday, and last until April 6.

CNN has shared that the Olympic committees for both Canada and Australia have announced that they will not be sending athletes to the Tokyo Olympics due to concerns that come with the coronavirus outbreak. President Trump tweeted that he will leave the decision regarding American athletes to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

CNN has also reported that the stimulus vote is unlikely to occur tonight. With little progress in negotiations, the list of differences has shortened, but not disappeared. 

Update: Rapid Testing Devices Distributed

According to KSDK, rapid testing devices are now distributed among the areas of Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County, and St. Louis. These tests are being primarily used in nursing care centers to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in high-risk populations. Due to the increased amount of tests, the test requirements have been lessened. Now, any healthcare worker, law enforcement officer, firefighter, first responder, patient at a living facility with high-risk residents, hospitalized patients, or high-risk patients that present a fever or other common symptoms, will automatically be allowed testing. The release of the rapid testing devices and loosening of test requirements, is necessary during this time seeing as Missouri, as of April 23, now has more than 6,300 cases and 247 deaths.

Update: All Mandatory Missouri State Tests Cancelled

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Missouri DESE has canceled all required statewide testing. Additionally, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, gatherings have now been limited to 10 people or less by executive order from St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann, as the number of cases in Missouri has reportedly increased to 28. The White House is now asking Americans to not travel outside U.S. borders under any circumstance, reports the Chicago Tribune, and to return home if they are currently elsewhere or find refuge in the country in which they are currently residing.

Update: 4.0 Luncheon Cancelled and U.S. Most Affected Country

 In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the 4.0 luncheon, a special event for seniors who have gone all four years with a GPA of 4.0 or higher, originally scheduled for April 3rd, was cancelled due to concerns over the spread of the virus. 

Those who were awarded the honor of being invited are the following: Elijah Allen, Kylie Allen, Alexander Anderson, Mikayla Aubuchon, Connor Banden, Ashleigh Bick-Dawes, Christopher Bissett, Marissa Blaylock, Hunter Bowman, Cloie Boyd, Caitlyn Brown, Kyle Bryan, Paige Butterfield, Tyler Cann, Anna Carroll, Cecelia Carter, Faith Carter, Mercedes Carter, Kana Chung, Samuel Cole, Elizabeth Dailey-LeFlore, Annalise Davis, Victoria Dobbins, Nicholas Driscoll, Madelyn Dumas, Jane Eilers, Joshlyn Enochs, Olivia Fong, Kaleb Foster, Olivia Green, Natalie Hall, Mykaela Halleman, Brent Harfmann, Andrew Houmes, Allison Huffman, Ian Ingram, Mya Johnson, Mackenzie Jones, Natasha Kiani, Lillian Klohr, Shelby Kroeger, Morgan Kromer, Abigail Laughman, Bailey Laurent, Cody Lewis, Courtney Lobberecht, Vanessa Luan, Marinda Ludwig, Erin Mallon, Lauren Marino, Sarah Matusofsky, Ellie Maxwell, Kierigan McEvoy, Jackson Michals, Emma Mize, Nicolas Moore, Jocelyn Morelli, Logan Nachtrab, Tarun Nedungadi, Samuel Newton, James Nielsen, Ellie Paske, Eric Peasel, Kira Pedrotti, Megan Percy, Alexandria Pollard, Nicholas Pouk, Christa Rolsing, Theodore Rosen, Abbygayle Ryan, Elena Sanders, Cassidy Schlatter, Allyson Schmuck, Audrey Scott, Zoe Shanley, Alex Siemers, Patrick Simoni, Alyssa Smith, Kayla Steinmeyer, Dylan Stover, Alexander Strader, Carl Swanson, Nathan Tucker, Andrew Voges, Corinne Vorderstrasse, Mary Wachtel, Kaitlyn Walden, Margaret Wilkerson, Brandon Williams, Samantha Wilson, Emily Woodruff. 

 

In addition, according to ABC, Dow Jones opened with a 4% spike, S&P 500 with a 3.8% spike, and Nasdaq with a 3.7% spike. ABC says that the U.S. is now the hardest hit country, with more than 337,000 diagnosed cases and close to 10,000 cases. According to Johns Hopkins, more than 1.2 million have been diagnosed world wide, 270,000 have recovered, and 70,000 have died. 

 

Update: New Last Day of School

At the virtual board of education meeting tonight, April 16, the District announced that the official last day of the Francis Howell School District’s 2019-2020 school year will be Tuesday, May 19. After the several snow days this past winter, the school was extended to last another week, but due to online classes and no finals as a result of the pandemic, the District has elected to suspend the added snow days. The District released the new date shortly following the meeting.

Update: Mo. Gov Mike Parson Issues Stay-at-Home Order

Mo. Gov. Mike Parson announced a statewide stay-at-home order, which will go into effect on April 6 at 12:01 a.m. until April 24 at 11:59 p.m. Under the order, Missouri residents will still be able to leave their home to access grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and banks. They may also still engage in outdoor activity. All Missouri residents shall leave their homes only out of necessity, and must adhere to social distancing protocol, remaining at least six feet away from strangers while in public. Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited for the duration of the order, and all schools will remain closed for the duration of the order. Before the order was announced, only 43 of the 114 counties in Missouri had enacted stay-at-home orders. Due to Gov. Parson’s announcement of the order, all of Missouri will have to comply with guidelines seen within stay-at-home orders. 

Update: Gov. Mike Parson Issues Social Distancing Order

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This afternoon, Gov. Mike Parson issued a social distancing order for all Mo. residents. The order will be in effect from 12:01 a.m. on March 23 until 12:01 a.m. on April 6 unless extended by the director of Mo. Department of Health and Senior Services. Schools will remain closed in this time frame. Visits to nursing homes, retirement homes and long-term care facilities will be prohibited, with exceptions for those providing critical assistance. All Missouri residents shall avoid eating at restaurants, bars and food courts, but delivery, drive-through and take-out will still be allowed. Lastly, all Missouri residents shall avoid gatherings of 10 or more people for the duration of this time period. Missouri residents will still be allowed to go to grocery stores, gas stations, banks and parks provided they take necessary precautions to reduce the spread of germs to others. 

Update: Crisis Spreads Love Instead of Germs

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Schott

These FHC staffers show unrelenting devotion to the Spartan Nation; their affections appear to be more resilient than the circumstances at hand.

Any outlying hope of returning to a non-virtual school year has been stamped out as of yesterday for students across the state–a surreal moment for many. This tragedy has sparked many sentiments, namely among the Francis Howell Central staff, who responded in a remarkable manner. On Thursday April 9, 2020, an image was revealed of a grid of 16 staffers spelling out a message that reads the following: ¨Spartan Nation, we miss you so very much and want you to know you are loved.¨  The heart-warming message was dispersed by teachers on the Remind app and across Twitter to urge students that they are not alone during this crisis.

Update: State Stay-at-Home Order Ends May 4

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on April 22, Mo. Gov. Mike Parson announced that the statewide stay-at-home order will end May 4. Missouri’s stay-at-home order limited gatherings to ten people, and mandated a six-foot separation distance between people. After the state’s order is lifted, individual counties will still be able to have their own restrictions. This means that most businesses will be able to reopen, and people will begin to go back to work starting next month.

Update: Missouri Has First Death Due To COVID-19

Missouri reported the first death from the coronavirus today, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The victim was in their late 60’s, recently traveled internationally and was a resident in Columbia. Additionally, the first St. Charles County case has been reported by KSDK 5 and the number of cases in Missouri has risen to 24. ABC reports that the United Kingdom has officially closed all schools for further notice, and two Senate members, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rep. Ben McAdams, both tested positive for the virus. The United States has announced it is closing its northern border with Canada for the time being.  Additionally, for the first time since the outbreak began, Wuhan, China has reported no new domestic cases.

Update: St. Charles County Sees First COVID-19 Death

In a KMOV4 update, St. Charles County saw its first death related to COVID-19. A man in his 70s was hospitalized for the virus, and passed away Monday evening.

CNN shared that Wuhan, the city in China most associated with being the focal point of early COVID-19 concerns, will have it’s lockdown lifted on April 8. Many parts of Hubei, the Providence which Wuhan is the capital of, will lift their lockdowns on Wednesday. This appears to be a pivotal point in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak in China. Today they reported one new case of the virus, a significant reduction from the thousands of new cases daily that were being reported during the height of the epidemic.

Also today, ESPN reported that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed until 2021. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach announced that the Summer Olympics will still be called Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, and the flame will be stored and displayed in Fukushima. This is the first time an Olympic date has been altered for any reason other than war.

 

Update: President Trump signs $2 trillion spending bill

According to The Washington Post, the House of Representatives passed an emergency spending bill in hopes of helping the coronavirus pandemic which has been signed into law by President Trump. This bill entails direct cash payments of $1,200 or $2,400 based off of one’s income and provides $500 for each child an adult is responsible for. And according to NBCNews, this bill does much more than provide households with direct deposits. This bill will also provide loans for small businesses that are eligible for assistance and provide financial aid to corporations struggling through COVID-19’s effects.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, this $2 trillion emergency spending bill might not be enough. Missouri alone now has 669 people who have tested positive and nine reported deaths. There are 24 cases in St. Charles County and 212 in St. Louis County and city.

Update: COVID-19 Has Reached All 50 States

According to Fox 9, all 50 states now reportedly have cases of the coronavirus as of yesterday, with West Virginia reporting it’s first. The total in the U.S. has now been brought to 7,553 and the number of deaths has been brought to 117, with 106 recoveries, according to the CDC. Missouri Governor Mike Parsons has suspended April elections to June, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. According to NBC, Dow Jones has dropped 1,600 points after trading stopped for the 4th time in 2 weeks. This puts them at 19, 576 points, the lowest they have been at since President Donald Trump’s inauguration 3 years ago. President Trump has also invoked the Defense Production Act in order to induce a higher degree of production from private American companies to fight COVID-19, reports The Chicago Tribune.

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Update: FHSD releases schedule for e-learning

FHSD has put out a schedule to be used by teachers and students once online learning begins on Monday, March 30. Teachers planning to give online lectures or schedule online assignments should adhere to this schedule, in which each class will occur twice weekly. Mondays and Thursdays will consist of first, third, fifth, and seventh periods from 9:00-3:00. 

Each class will be 70 minutes long, with a 10-minute break between each class and a 60-minute break between third and fifth hour. Tuesdays and Fridays will follow the same time frame as the Monday/Thursday schedule, but will instead consist of second hour, a time slot for office hours, fourth hour, and sixth hour.

 Wednesdays will be reserved for office hours and student consultation from 9:00 to 11:30. This schedule will be in effect for the entirety of the online learning break, unless changed by the district. Along with the April 24 extension of online learning comes many questions about events scheduled to happen within that time frame. The 4.0 luncheon was canceled, but there are still some events to look forward to. Prom is rescheduled for May 15, and other options will be evaluated if that date is not a possibility. Graduation practice will also be held on May 15. 

Dr. Arnel will be in contact with Family Arena to discuss alternative dates should June 6 not be a feasible date. Practices for all sports will continue to be prohibited until students return to school, and cannot happen throughout the entirety of online learning. The earliest date games can be held is May 5 (as students need 14 practices), but is subject to change depending on whether any more extensions of online learning are added. 

There will be food handouts next Tuesday, March 31, at FHC and then the Food Market at the Burbes Building next Wednesday, April 1. If you know of a family that is facing a tough time now have them contact Cindy Rielmann at [email protected]

Update: Stimulus Bill Blocked Once Again

CNBC reported that the bill to fund the White House’s stimulus proposal has once again been blocked, failing to earn enough votes in a Senate procedural head count Sunday evening. Despite this, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has relayed his confidence that a final deal will be made in the next round of voting today. 

According to KCTV 5 News, while the death toll of COVID-19 in Missouri remains at three, the number of confirmed cases of the virus had jumped to 128, 38 more cases than reported on Sunday afternoon. Five of these cases have been tied to a suburban St. Louis preschool. Their health officials reported that St. Louis County, home to 55 of the reported 128 cases, shows evidence of “community-spread,” where origin cannot be traced.

Update: FHSD is no Longer Considering a Power Lunch For the 2020 School Year

Central office decided to hold off on contemplating the transition of the district to a power lunch schedule until further notice. Earlier this school year, the idea of a power lunch was brought to the table by Principal Dr. Sonny Arnel to help alleviate stress from day to day schoolwork. Amid the current status of COVID-19, this schedule is no longer being considered for the 2020-2021 school year. 

    “Together, we all decided… that all our resources need to be focused and poured into supporting our students, our families, and our faculty through the processes of COVID-19 online learning,” Dr. Arnel said. “So we’re going to save all those energies and focus on the power lunch as more of a possibility for the 2021-2020 school year.”

    The other fear was that the funding for the power lunch would not be sufficient for the amount of tables and food satellites the district wanted. 

“We won’t know the funding from the state [until later],” Dr. Arnel said. “The governor said he is going to express and release that budget on June 30.”

Update: Information Regarding Senior Traditions and Events

A lot of expectations and traditions come with being a high school senior. The past few weeks teachers, counselors, and building administrators have been working hard so that these events can still take place in some form. For the FHC class of 2020, Senior Awards Night will be held virtually via Facebook Live. More detailed information has been emailed out directly to seniors on what steps they need to take to help this event happen. Alternate dates and locations are currently being looked at for both prom and graduation. These dates are most likely to be pushed back to early/late summer. Along with graduation, Party Central, the senior lock-in, is also debating alternate dates to host this event. A plan that allows seniors to pick up their cap and gown and graduation announcements is said to be coming out as soon as possible. Lastly, for spring sport athletes, there will be a virtual senior night and spring NLI signing. More information about senior night will be given out by each athlete’s respected coaching staff.

Update: Online Learning Continued Through April 24

Anchorage Daily News announces that Alaskan state officials have out into effect a mandate requiring all people entering the state from “outside” to self quarantine for 14 days. Hawaii and Florida, two tourist-heavy states, have also requested that travelers refrain from visiting for a month. In particular, people from New York — a state that has seen drastic growth in confirmed cases over the past few weeks. However, The New York Times has reported that with the practice of social distancing, the state is seeing potential signs of flattening the curve. On Sunday, projections showed hospitalization rates to double every two days. Now, projections have lengthened the time that hospitalization doubles to approximately 4.7 days.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates that there are now 356 reported cases of COVID-19 in Missouri, and a total of 8 deaths.

With the number of confirmed cases across the state and the globe still rising rapidly, the Francis Howell School District has also made the decision to continue at-home learning now until April 24.

 

Update: Number of Missouri COVID-19 cases spikes by 300 in one day

Today, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced that since yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has increased by 300 people, leaving the state with a total of 1,327 people ill with the virus. The St. Charles County Department of Public Health has released that 95 of these positive cases have been in our county, including three deaths. This is all despite the precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of the disease in our state which Governor Mike Parson issued on March 21st. His orders promoted social distancing in many ways, including prohibiting gatherings of ten or more individuals. However, many health organizations and local politicians are calling for orders that Missouri residents stay home except in exceptional cases to better protect citizens from the disease.

Update: Gov. Mike Parsons extends school closures through end of year, FHSD adapts online learning schedule

This afternoon, Governor Mike Parson released a statement prompted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, stating that “all Missouri public and charter schools {will} remain closed through the remainder of the academic year.” He included that the decision was made in conjunction with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, as well as with school superintendents in both rural and urban communities across the state.  The order allows for schools to continue online learning, and in response to the cancellation and surveys from both students and parents, the district has made the decision not only to cancel all sports and activities for the semester, but to move to a 4 day school week beginning the week of April 20th. According to the statement on the District website, “Students will engage in learning Tuesday through Friday, and Monday will be a teacher work/meeting/learning day.” The district extends their understanding to all district families, and encourages the students and their families to stay safe and healthy throughout this unprecedented situation: “Please continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing measures… we are grateful for your continued patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented time. Please take care of yourself and your family, and thank you for joining together to support each other and our students.”

Update: L.A. Teen Becomes the Youngest Reported COVID-19 Death

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the number of confirmed cases in Missouri has now risen to 227, and deaths now stand at 5. Testing criteria for COVID-19 has now been loosened to accommodate the rising number of cases. Food stamp benefits are also being raised for eligible Missouri households.

The New York Times relayed New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s claim that New York’s case count is doubling every three days. This creates concern that New York’s curve will not be flattened, and their peak may come as quickly as two to three weeks. This backs the reported 25,665 cases and 157 deaths in the state.

From the same source, a person under the age of 18 passed away today as a result of contracting COVID-19. The Los Angeles County teen is currently considered the youngest person in the U.S. to die from the virus. It is currently unclear whether they had preexisting health conditions.

Nationwide, President Trump announced that the deadline to obtain identification that complies with the Real ID law has now been pushed back, as reported by USA Today. A new deadline has not yet been announced. Not having a Real ID, which initially had to be obtained by Oct. 1 of this year, would have prevented citizens from boarding U.S. flights in the future. 

Update: Trump Says To Avoid Groups of More Than Ten

President Donald Trump is now urging citizens to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10, and to refrain from using bars and restaurants, ABC reports. Though apparently national quarantine is not being considered, six counties in San Francisco have had citizens ordered to hunker down in their homes.  Additionally, the EU entrance and Schengen area will be closed, according to French President Emmanuel Macron and Canada will be closing its borders to all those excluding diplomats, airplane personnel, family and American citizens. 

The May SAT has also been canceled by the College Board, and the death toll in Italy today has officially surpassed 2,000. Its total number of cases has reached 27,980. 

The stock markets also suffered today, with Dow Jones taking a 12.94 percent dive, and S&P 500 and Nasdaq dropping by 11.99 percent and 12.32 percent respectively. ABC reports that this is the worst drop in history since 1987. 

 

Update: First Saint Louis City COVID-19 Case

 According to KFVS 12, St. Louis City reports its first case of the coronavirus. Mayor Lyda Krewson says that the disease is not believed to have spread, as the 20-something person self-reported and self-quarantined upon developing symptoms. Additionally, a Saint Louis University student, recently returned home from studying abroad, has tested positive for COVID-19, making them the eighth Missourian to have a confirmed case. Of the 215 people in Missouri that have been tested, 204 have come back negative.

Update: 7 More Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Missouri

With the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 now up to 15 in Missouri, the state is now taking many precautions to prevent the virus spreading further. Missouri Governor Mike Parson tweeted that all Missouri Casinos will be closed starting at midnight Tuesday, and continuing through March 30, in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. It is for the same reasons that the presidential primary, which was supposed to take place Tuesday in Ohio, has been postponed. The other three states whose primaries were set for that same day (Arizona, Illinois and Florida) carried out voting as initially planned.

To aid in the transportation of tools needed to aid those affected by the virus, the Missouri Department of Transportation has waived some weight limitations for motor carriers. Private and for-hire carriers can now haul up to 10% more than their licensed weight on Missouri highways while carrying supplies & equipment. 

CNBC reported that the White House plans to send checks directly to Americans as part of a stimulus proposal worth more than $850 billion. They plan for this to go into effect as soon as two weeks.

According to USA Today , as of yesterday,  5 states have now closed their bars and restaurants in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey have banned all gatherings of more than 50 people, according to CNN . This comes after the CDC issued an official recommendation that gatherings should consist of no more than 50 people. According to the Chicago Tribune, 21 sates have had school closures for at least two weeks. Deaths world wide have hit 6,500, and 61 (according to ABC) in the United States. Cases world wide have hit 164, 837 according to WHO in the U.S have hit 3,602 according to The New York Times.

Information may have changed from time of publication. 

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