COVID cases, quarantines in Stanly County Schools decrease

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, January 26, 2022

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The number of positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines in Stanly County Schools dropped substantially last week, according to updated data from the district’s COVID-19 online dashboard.

After more than 2,600 students and staff missed instructional time due to quarantine protocols, the numbers drastically improved last week, as more than half came back to work, according to updated data from the district’s COVID-19 online dashboard.

The district tallied 1,117 quarantines between Jan. 16-22. That’s a 58 percent decrease from the previous week, when there were 2,664 cases among students and staffers. The total accounts for roughly 12 percent of the estimated 9,400 students and staff across the district — a marked improvement compared with the 28 percent that missed time the week prior.

While the decrease is encouraging, schools were closed the first three days last week due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and two professional development days, which might have contributed to the lower numbers. Some schools were also remote for the week.

All 23 schools in the district saw their quarantine numbers decrease — some quite considerably. West Stanly Middle School and Albemarle High School each had more than 200 students and staff return to school last week, while two others, Central Elementary and East Albemarle Elementary, had more than 100 people come back.

For the first time since the week before Christmas break, no school had 100 people quarantined. Norwood Elementary had the most people out with 92, though that was a 26 percent decrease from the week prior, when 124 were quarantined. Thirteen schools had recorded more than 100 quarantines between Jan. 9-15, with three exceeding 200.

COVID-19 cases also fell. SCS reported 346 positives, of which 278 were students. That’s a 29 percent decrease from the previous week, when 485 cases were tallied.

Some of the schools that had high numbers of Covid positives saw their numbers fall last week. Albemarle Middle, which had 49 positives two weeks ago, only had 13, while West Stanly Middle, which had 39 people positive, had 23 last week.

A swell in cases early this month, just as students were returning from their winter break, prompted a number of schools to temporarily pivot to remote learning. But district officials say all schools have now returned to in-person learning.

Even though the Covid metrics appear to be improving throughout the school system, the county is still experiencing record levels of Covid-19 cases. Stanly County recorded more than 1,500 new cases last week and so far this week the health department has reported more than 700 new cases.

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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