Coronavirus Update: New City School Cancels Classes, Will Open for Voting

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click to enlarge New City School in the Central West End will still serve as a polling place today. - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
New City School in the Central West End will still serve as a polling place today.
Update: The parent who was tested for COVID-19 received the results and does not have the virus, according to an email sent to parents. The school plans to reopen for classes on Wednesday.

New City School has canceled classes today, but will still open its dining hall — a polling location — for voting after a student's parent was tested for the coronavirus.

Dr. Fredrick Echols, director of the city of St. Louis Department of Health, said the family was not in school on Monday, but he is taking precautions until they know whether the parent contracted COVID-19.

"While we await the test results, I have ordered the entire family to self-quarantine at their home and will be monitoring their compliance," Echols said in a statement late Monday night.

The independent private school is in the Central West End and will still open its dining hall for voting in today's Democratic primary. Echols and New City Head of School Alexis Wright said the dining hall has been thoroughly cleaned and is isolated from the rest of the school. After voting today, it will be cleaned again, Wright added.

The school hasn't decided when classes will resume. Two schools in the county, Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School in Frontenac, will remain closed all week as their buildings undergo a "hospital-grade cleaning," school officials said in a statement. The first known coronavirus patient in St. Louis — a twenty-year-old college student who returned from Italy this month — has a younger sister who attends Villa Duchesne. Oak Hill shares a campus with Villa Duchesne.

County Executive Sam Page says the family was supposed to be self-quarantining at their home in Ladue, but the county later learned the father took a younger daughter to a Villa Duchesne father-daughter dance on Saturday night at the Ritz-Carlton. It was later learned family members, although not the twenty-year-old, were spotted at various locations around West County.

The county has threatened to seek a court-order to keep the family at home if they won't voluntarily comply. A lawyer for the family told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the county never told the entire family it had to self-quarantine.

That contradicts Page, who says the family was told repeatedly and clearly to stay in their home.

For more information on COVID-19, go to websites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and St. Louis County and the city of St. Louis

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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