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SCS reports decrease in quarantines among students, staff

For the second week in a row, there has been a decline in the number of quarantines and positive cases among Stanly County Schools students and staff, according to the latest data from the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, which is updated once a week.

A total of 890 students and staff were quarantined for the week of Sept. 19-25, a 39 percent decrease from the 1,451 the week before. This accounts for about 10 percent of the almost 9,400 students and staff across the district.

Specifically, of the 1,353 students that were in quarantine two weeks ago, 528 students have now come back to school as of last week. An additional 33 staff members left quarantine and come back.

This is the lowest number of quarantines since the first week of school in late August, when almost 500 students and staff were out of school due to potential exposure.

Every school but one saw its quarantine numbers decrease from the week prior. East Albemarle Elementary experienced the largest decrease with 127 students and staff now back at school, followed by Albemarle High with 65 and West Stanly Middle with 63.

Only one school, Central Elementary, has more than 100 students and staff in quarantine. Its total for the week is 101, up from 96.

Similar to last week, student quarantines still vary substantially across the district ranging from only one at Stanly STEM Early College (and two other schools with less than 10) to more than 80 at two schools, Albemarle High (85) and Central Elementary (95).

There were 114 positive cases among students and staff, accounting for about one percent of the total population, down from 128 the week prior. Staff members experienced the largest decrease, going from 15 cases to three.

Twelve schools saw a decrease in the number of positive cases with four schools — North Stanly High, North Stanly Middle, Richfield Elementary and South Stanly Middle — seeing the caseload drop by at least five. Two schools had double digit cases, Albemarle Middle with 16 and West Stanly High with 14, while four schools had no positive cases for the week.

The decreases in the number of SCS cases comes as the county also experienced a decrease in the number of new cases last week. The health department reported 345 new cases, a 27 percent decrease from the 474 cases reported for the week of Sept. 17.

In keeping with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health recommendations, masks are required for all students and staff when indoors. Masks will become optional once the county’s positivity rate drops below 7.9 percent for a consecutive two-week period. The rate was at 12.5 percent as of Monday, according to the health department, more than two percentage points lower than the week prior.

When it comes to other schools in the county, Gray Stone Day School reported four new cases from Sept. 19-25, up from one new case the week before. Pfeiffer University has only one active case, while 39 have been reported since Aug. 1.

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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