Three Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Have Affected Around 70 Students

After cases have started appearing in the building, several students are forced into mandatory quarantine


Amelia Vohsen, Rhyen Standridge, Maddie Mabray

This photo illustration portrays how different in person learning is from online. The COVID-19 cases in our building have cause roughly 70 students to make a temporary transition to online learning.

On Sunday, Sept. 20, Francis Howell Central received notification of its second COVID-19 case followed closely by a third case on Sept. 22. According to Dr. Andrew Downs, approximately 70 students have been quarantined over all three of these cases.

Action was taken immediately by the building to notify all parents and students if they were in close contact with these positive individuals. Any students in close contact received a phone call to notify the parents that their child needs to quarantine for two weeks. Close contact, as defined by CDC guidelines, consists of being closer than six feet for greater than 15 minutes.

Administration has been following St. Charles County Health Department’s quarantine guidelines to a T. Not only did they contact those close individuals via phone, but they also contacted any students who have a class with the positive individual so they know to watch more carefully for symptoms via email. This email also included contact information for concerned parents with questions about their child’s proximity/contact with the individual. 

“The safety of our students, staff, and community is always our top priority,” Francis Howell Central email to parents said. “We understand this information is concerning, but guidance from health officials tells us that the risk for students and staff contracting the virus is low for those who did not have extended contact with this individual.”

For the students who have been asked to stay home, their absences will not be counted against them. Dr. Downs made this clear to parents and students alike.

“Students who are sent home for quarantine are given excused absences. This will not be held against students,” Dr. Downs said. 

Should a student wish to come back before their school mandated quarantine ends, they will need more than a negative test. 

According to Dr. Downs, “The St. Charles Health Department issues the quarantine, and they are the only entity who can give a release.”

Regardless of a negative test, students will have to take extra measures if they want to come back to school before their two weeks are up.

“A student needs a written release from the Health Department to return to school,” Dr. Downs said. “He or she must quarantine for the entire time the STCCHD orders him or her to do so.”