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Columbia Public Schools to close for three days due to impact of omicron variant

Coronavirus Information for Families
Columbia Public Schools

Columbia Public Schools announced today that it will be taking several days off in the coming weeks to “allow for relief for our schools and staff as we experience the expected Omicron surge,” according to a letter sent to parents by Superintendent Brian Yearwood.

As of January 14th, CPS is reporting 441 students and 96 staff members currently out due to COVID-19 – with a weekly substitute fill rate of just 44.6 percent.

“Our systems and our schools are stressed as we work through this early part of the Omicron variant surge in our community,” Yearwood wrote. “Student and staff absences, as well as all other pressures, continue to increase.”

CPS will not be session on Friday, January 21, Monday, January 24, and Tuesday, January 25. These days will now serve as teacher workdays.

This comes just a day after the district announced it would be reimplementing a mask mandate beginning next Tuesday, January 18 through February 4 in response to the surge of cases in Boone County.

According to Yearwood’s letter, the Board of Education will formally vote to approve these changes to the school calendar at a work session next Thursday, January 20.

Rebecca Smith is a reporter and producer for the KBIA Health & Wealth desk. She was born and raised in Rolla, Missouri, and graduated with degrees in Journalism and Chemistry from Truman State University in May 2014. Rebecca comes to KBIA from St. Louis Public Radio, where she worked as the news intern and covered religion, neighborhood growth and the continued unrest in Ferguson, MO.
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