COVID-19 impact

When all desks in schools in St. Louis will again fill with children is still anybody’s guess.

In addition to announcing FDA approval for a new saliva coronavirus test developed at Washington University, Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday that economic recovery in Missouri is in full swing.

“Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped again,” Parson said at a press briefing. “From 7.8 in June to 6.9% in July. With employment increasing by over 52,000 jobs.”

For July, the national unemployment rate was 10.2%. Parson said Missouri is in the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rate.

The first day of school can be a little bit about showing off: new sneakers, a new backpack and this year … a new mask.

When a kindergartner approached Duello Elementary School Principal Danielle Todd on the first day of school Monday morning, she earned bonus points for a school-themed mask.

“You’re a rock star, you know that?” Todd said, commenting on all the school-related things on the student’s mask. “I love it.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, emphasized the importance of masks in fighting the pandemic after a roundtable discussion Tuesday with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and health officials in Jefferson City.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican,” Birx said. “You need to wear a mask and socially distance.”

Updated Thursday, August 13, at 10:30am

Area schools are kicking off the fall semester of the 2020-21 academic year under once unimaginable circumstances. As is the case with every facet of life during the pandemic, the situation with school reopenings is constantly changing.

Below is a summary of the decisions 41 school districts in Missouri and Kansas have made. All of them will require masks for students who are returning to the classroom in person. Nearly a quarter of the schools will provide masks to students and staff.