MISSOULA — Students are back in the classroom and COVID-19 is still at the forefront of hurdles to overcome in the academic setting but it’s causing a different type of problem.
Many schools are struggling with staff shortages as COVID-19 continues to affect school systems.
Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent (MCPS) Rob Watson told MTN News they are nervous about the widespread effect that the new omicron variant could have.
"Our ability to operate our schools is the staffing, the numbers -- the staffing numbers. And so, if we have a lot of staff that are sick or on quarantine, or you know, if they feel sick, we're encouraging them to stay home rather than come to school and get a COVID test. That could really cause some major problems. We may experience some school closures or some classroom closures where we can't find staff to continue." MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson
Any students or MCPS staff members who test positive for COVID-19 are asked to alert school nurses so they can begin contact tracing.
MCPS announced last week that due to the rising local COVID-19 numbers, the District’s face covering policy will remain in effect for now.