19 Students Test Positive for COVID-19 After Missouri Prom, Graduation Ceremony

July 22, 2020
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O'FALLON, Mo (KMOX) - Nearly two dozen people contracted COVID-19 following an outdoor graduation ceremony and off-site prom for a St. Louis-area Catholic high school.

St. Dominic High School held the graduation ceremony on the school's athletic field on July 8 and prom was two days later at a nearby golf course. People reportedly started feeling symptoms after the weekend events, according to a press release from the school, which says both events were held with CDC guidelines in mind.

The statement sent on Monday says 19 students and two guests have since tested positive for COVID.

"We will continue to monitor the situation, and will determine any further measures that need to be taken," the school stated. "At this time, we are focusing on communicating with our school community, as well as on working with local health officials and the Archdiocese of St. Louis to ensure all guidelines and protocols are followed. As we continue to plan for the school year, we are keeping the physical, spiritual, intellectual and emotional health of our students at the forefront. Details regarding the return to school at St. Dominic High School will be shared with all school families next week."

The school shared video of the graduation ceremony on YouTube:

Student activities have been canceled at least through August 9, but they're still planning to start the school year August 10 and classes are set to begin on August 17.

St. Dominic High School Media Statement by EntercomSTL on Scribd

High School
Photo credit (St Dominic High School)

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson joined KMOX on Tuesday to clarify comments he made about kids returning to school this fall. He told our partner station 97.1 FM Talk last week that, "if (kids) do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it."

He told our Mark Reardon on Tuesday that "I didn't do a good job of explaining the point I was trying to make."

That point, he says, is the state has to be prepared for the possibility that sick kids could bring the virus home, which he says he didn't effectively communicate.

"Me as a grandparent, if my grandkids go to school I'm well aware of the fact they could bring that home," Parson continued. "That was the whole point I was trying to make. We need to be prepared for when that day comes ... We're not defenseless against COVID-19 anymore."

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