Stanly County Schools reports 90 students, employees have tested positive for COVID-19

Published 1:46 pm Tuesday, October 13, 2020

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Stanly County Schools has reported 90 cumulative coronavirus cases that have come from both students and employees since July, according to data recently posted on the school system’s website.

On its website under the tab SCS COVID-19 Weekly Report, SCS lists that 47 students and 43 employees have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Tuesday. There is no specific information about how many of the cases listed are active and how many people who had the virus have since recovered.

A total of 275 students are currently quarantined along with 79 employees. Of the employees quarantined, 33 are teachers and six are teacher assistants and bus drivers. Nineteen are listed as “other,” which includes substitutes, part-time workers and contract employees.

According to a line graph in the report, which charts the number of positive cases over time, the first cases for both students and employees occurred around Aug. 14. The school year officially began three days later Aug. 17.

The data on the website was last updated Oct. 11.

Interim superintendent Vicki Calvert told the Stanly News and Press that the school system is not publicly releasing school-specific information “to protect the identity fo our students and employees that have contracted COVID-19.”
Calvert added that the school system does notify parents when a student or staff member has tested positive at their children’s school and that potential close contacts of a person who has tested positive are personally notified.

The Stanly News & Press has reported in recent weeks that students at several schools, including Norwood Elementary and North Stanly High School, temporarily shifted to remote learning due to the emergence of positive cases.

On Saturday, during a special called school board meeting, the school system voted to move all students to remote learning for two weeks, beginning Wednesday. This decision comes after Norwood Elementary third grade teacher Julie Davis recently died from COVID-19 and a third grade student at the school tested positive.

Teachers will return to their classrooms Oct. 30 and students will return Nov. 2. All employees will work remotely and will be paid during this time.

There are currently 2,346 cumulative cases in the county along with 21 people hospitalized and 68 people who have died, according to data from the county health department. There are 397 active cases and 1,881 people have recovered.

There are currently five outbreaks in the county, the largest coming from the Albemarle Correctional Institution, where 364 inmates have tested positive, although there are only 8 active cases. The other outbreaks include Stanly Manor with 75 cases and 6 deaths, Bethany Woods with 40 cases, The Taylor House with 16 cases and one death and Spring Arbor with three cases.

Stanly’s positivity rate, which is the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, is currently 9.7 percent, according to data from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, which is higher than most neighboring counties and the state’s overall percentage, which is 6.5 percent.

The percent positive is a key measure for any community, according to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, because it gives an indication about how widespread the infection is in a given area. Johns Hopkins notes that if the percent positive in a community is more than 5 percent then it is considered “too high.”

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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