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SCS still on track for in-person instruction to start back next week

With students and staff having exclusively worked from home the past two weeks after an increase in coronavirus cases, Stanly County Schools is still on schedule to return to its hybrid schedule of in-person and remote learning beginning Monday.

Interim Superintendent Vicki Calvert said that the health department supported the decision to return to face-to-face instruction “based on the decline in the percentage of positive cases reported to Stanly County Schools.”

According to the data on the school system’s website, from Oct. 8 through Oct. 14, the school system reported 21 active coronavirus cases — 14 students and seven staff members —while from Oct. 15 through Oct. 21, SCS reported only seven active cases — six students and one staff member.

A total of 90 students and staff have tested positive since the middle of July, according to the SCS data.

David Jenkins, director of the Stanly County Health Department, said that while the department supports the return to in-person instruction, he acknowledged that cases in schools could once again resurface.

“We are concerned that we will continue to address positive cases in the schools on a case by case basis,” Jenkins said. “In working with the schools, our goal is to keep the students in the classroom as long as we can keep them healthy and safe.”

Calvert said all SCS employees and long-term substitutes, who will return to school Friday, have been given mandatory COVID-19 health and safety presentations. She said SCS will continue deep sanitation requirements for all facilities and buses.

The school system is also acquiring additional nurses to help with COVID-19-related processes and operations once students return to the classroom.

While Calvert acknowledged that “unpredictable circumstances and challenges will be part of our ongoing preparations” as the school system returns to in-person instruction, she said the community will need to continue abiding by health guidelines to combat the virus.

“Our best line of defense in defeating this virus is largely dependent on the diligence of the community to join us in our efforts to return to face-to-face instruction,” she said.

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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