The State of Missouri is issuing new guidance for schools related to COVID-19.  Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday that the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education now advises that close contacts of a person with COVID-19 in a school setting don’t have to quarantine if all individuals were wearing masks.

The guidance applies in school districts and charter schools that have mask mandates in place and when all parties were wearing their masks correctly at the time of exposure.

This story is produced in partnership with the Pulitzer Center

MUNICH, GERMANY — Bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms, and museums here are closed for the month of November as cases of COVID-19 in Germany top 20,000 per day, four times as many as the previous highs of April.

Unlike what took place in April, though, most schools and daycares remain open while social life is restricted.

Some students in the St. Louis region have returned to classrooms, while others have abruptly shifted to learning from home. It’s a sign of how fluid the first half of this school year could be as educators navigate the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In Madison County, depending on where their last name fell in the alphabet, Tuesday or Wednesday was kids’ first day of being in classrooms as the district brings its 6,400 students back on a hybrid schedule after three weeks of remote schooling.

Health departments in the St. Louis region are counting on school districts to track how the coronavirus is spreading within their hallways.

Administrators and health departments are working to hone contact tracing systems for schools returning to in-person classes. When students test positive for the virus, nurses and administrators will try to determine whom they came in contact with.

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