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From Fr. Craig Holway, pastor:  

Thank you to all who have opened your minds and hearts to find creative ways to continue to celebrate our Catholic faith together during a pandemic.

I’m taking the time here to provide a comprehensive explanation of the determination I’ve made with regard to masking and quarantine recommendations in our parish and school community going forward. Pease take the time to read this carefully. 

The scientific data presented by local and national medical professionals, elected officials, and news outlets has been confusing and, often, contradictory. Doctors of varying disciplines have their own risk assessment thresholds and have different perspectives on what it means to “get sick” and how to treat a wide spectrum on symptoms. Therefore, they interpret data differently and arrive at varying conclusions. 

As you can imagine, I have listened to many as I have discerned my decision: the Archbishop and other priests, doctors, educators, mental health experts, our employees, our Mass goers, our youth and many, many others. We did a survey of all our employees, and parents of our school and PSR students. I have reviewed the results of the survey and have read and heard all comments that have come into communications@mqpwg.org . I have considered the mandates and guidelines from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the CDC and St. Louis County. They all provided useful information and perspectives and all were considered in my decision. It is unreasonable to think that any level of mitigation protocols will “make everyone happy”. 

Therefore, I present to the MQP Community a new philosophy that will govern our interpretation and application of COVID protocols:

  • Beginning on Monday, January 31, masks will be optional for those on our property, regardless of infection or vaccination status. That includes church, school (for both day school and PSR program and extracurricular activities and sports) and the parish office. If you are sick, stay home. If you have symptoms, stay home. If you have a positive test, stay home.   If you think you have COVID, get tested and make it your personal responsibility to not infect others.
  • Employees and students who contract COVID will quarantine for 5 days. Day 0 will be first day of symptoms or a positive test. Day 1 is the first full day after symptoms developed or a COVID test was taken. The return date will be Day 6. A test will not be required to return. Masks will be optional. Employees will still need to report a positive COVID-19 test to Miss Smith. Parents will still need to report a positive COVID-19 test of their child to Mrs. Mary Ann Zimmerman at mazimmerman@mqpwg.org  . 
  • For students who are exposed to someone later diagnosed with COVID, regardless of vaccination status, their parents should monitor their symptoms and, if feel necessary, have them tested. If the student is positive, they will be asked to quarantine for 5 days. 
  • If 5% of the school student population is infected with COVID, we will return to a mandatory mask protocol until the number drops to below 5%. We will communicate any change directly with parents. 
  • This decision is not retroactive. So, if an employee or child has been quarantining/isolating on or before Jan. 21, they will need to follow the information given to them at that time. 

As pastor of Mary, Queen of Peace, I hope that you know I love you and don’t want anyone to ever feel that they are not safe. If you have any questions or concerns, please email communications@mqpwg.org so we can direct your question or concern to the appropriate person. 

UPDATED JANUARY 24, 2022

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