ST. LOUIS ( -- Alecia Hancock says it’s a frustrating standstill while waiting for the St. Louis County Health Department to release vital paperwork related to her daughter’s case.

“Everyone told me to just sit back and wait,” said Hancock.  

She said she's been waiting clearance from the county for her daughter to go back to school after she’d recovered from COVID-19.

The county's policy mandates a "release of isolation" letter from the health department for students and stuff before ending quarantine and returning to school.

Hancock says school officials at her daughter’s school, Rogers Middle, say they’re also waiting on release from isolation letters for staff members.

“This policy we can’t keep up with it,” Hancock said.  

In Hancock’s case, when her daughter was done quarantining and ready to return to school, county leaders said they had no status on when her daughter’s paperwork would be ready.

“There’s no reason why private physicians can’t handle this,” she said.  

News 4 found there’s a backlog within the health department on issuing out release from isolation letters. We reached out to the health department and they say they’re just overwhelmed. The department says they’re stressed on all points of responding to cases at every aspect; including getting test results from labs, assigning people to cases, contracting tracing investigation, and getting release letters of isolation issued.

Latest numbers from the county show the average number of COVID-19 diagnoses a day in the county is 643.

The county’s solution to this, they say, is to encourage people to keep calling the health department. Hancock says that got her nowhere. After our calls she says the county reached out to her and they were able to get her daughter that letter so she can return to class.

News 4 Reporter

Ashli Lincoln is a general assignment reporter for News 4 St. Louis

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