School quarantines decline for third straight week as more people participate in test-to-stay program

Published 3:12 pm Wednesday, February 9, 2022

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For the third week in a row, the number of quarantines and positive cases have fallen among Stanly County Schools students and staff, according to updated data from the district’s COVID-19 online dashboard.

The district tallied 638 quarantines between Jan. 30-Feb. 5, the lowest total since the end of November. That’s a 10 percent decrease from the previous week, when there were 705 students and staffers out of school. Going back about a month ago, the total represents a 76 percent decrease from the week of Jan. 9, when more than 2,600 people were quarantined.

There were also 92 people that were positive with COVID-19, down from the 174 positive cases the week prior.

The decrease in the number of quarantines comes as SCS is now in its second full week implementing Duke University’s voluntary test-to-stay program, where exposed individuals can stay in school, provided they wear a mask for 10 days and get tested three times within a week. The program was designed to limit student quarantines.

Last week, of the 299 students and staff eligible for the program, 137 opted in, for a participation rate of around 46 percent, according to data provided to The Stanly News & Press by SCS Director of Student Services Beverly Pennington.

A positive COVID-19 test or the development of symptoms on any day after exposure would require isolation, according to requirements outlined in the NC Strong Schools Toolkit.

Of the many tests performed last week, Pennington said, only four came back positive.

Paramedics with Stanly County Emergency Management have been helping school nurses administer the rapid tests to students and staff.

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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