Schools out: PCSD, St. Vincent close doors over COVID-19 concerns

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At least two Perry County schools have made the decision to shut their doors in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Sunday, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced via Twitter that it was closing all archdiocesan elementary and high schools — including all grades pre-K through 12 — beginning Wednesday, March 18. That list of schools includes St. Vincent de Paul in Perryville.

Deacon Rob Huff, St. Vincent's head of schools, informed parents of the decision in a letter later that day, and in subsequent posts on social media, stated the closure would likely remain in effect until at least April 6, although there was no definite return date.

"Archbishop [Robert] Carlson says the health and safety of the people of the archdiocese is a priority and sees this as the best path forward to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our area," Huff wrote.

Perry County School District 32 on Monday afternoon issued a similar letter, sent to district parents over email, which stated that classes would be suspended beginning Wednesday. Classes are expected to resume on April 3.

"This precautionary closure complies with the president’s request that all Americans practice social distancing and the CDC recommendation to limit crowds to under 50 people, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19," PCSD superintendent Andy Comstock said in the letter to parents.

The PCSD closure won't take effect until Wednesday, meaning that Adventure Club will be open after school, and sports practices will be held on Tuesday. After that, all school activities, including athletics, will be suspended.

As of Monday afternoon, Immanuel Lutheran School in Perryville, along with United in Christ Lutheran in Frohna and Altenburg Public School, had yet to make a decision.

"We have a board meeting tonight to make that decision," said Immanuel Lutheran Velda Haertling. "We'll take the advice of the Health Department, what's going on with District 32 and St. Vincent and we'll go from there to make our decision tonight."

For more on the story, see Thursday's edition of the Republic-Monitor. For an updated list of area closings, cancellations and postponements and other COVID-19 stories and videos, visit perryvillenews.com/category/covid-19.

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