Mecklenburg Co. reports first coronavirus cluster at a school

Covid cluster at Covenant Day School

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The first coronavirus cluster has been identified at a school in Mecklenburg County.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director said a private K-12 school has a cluster, which is identified as at least five cases within a facility.

The cluster was reported at Covenant Day School in Matthews, according to Mecklenburg County health leaders.

She did say there are six cases among students and teachers.

“That classroom is now being fully quarantined, all the children and teachers in the classroom,” Harris said.

Megan Fair with Covenant Day School provided more information to WBTV.

Fair says the grade level where the cluster has been reported, as well as anyone who we believe has been in close contact with any individual who has tested positive to COVID-19, has transitioned to distance learning.

“Whenever our nurses receive a report of a positive case, they get in touch with the health department and begin thorough contact tracing of our students, faculty, and staff. To protect the privacy of our students and staff, we are not able to provide any identifying information,” Fair said.

Harris said that she believes the reported coronavirus cases are from outside exposure, from large gatherings that could include places of worship.

“One of the challenges we are starting to see in the people we are contacting that are positive, as well as in contacts from those people, is that a number of places of worship are not complying with mask-wearing and social distancing,” Harris said. “We urge these organizations to help us and our community as we slow the spread.”

Harris said Mecklenburg County has had coronavirus cases in some schools, how this private school is the first reported cluster.

While Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were ordered to start the school year remotely, private schools across the state were permitted to open for in-person instruction.

“What we are seeing in these situations, we’ve had cases in other schools, but this was the first that rose to the cluster level, we are seeing that most of the cases are coming from outside exposure, not in the school setting,” Harris said. “Our schools have been doing a fairly good job with the masking and with the social distancing. What these initial clusters have given us an opportunity to do is to make sure they are implementing the plans the way they need to.”

The health director urges people who are in large gatherings to get tested for the virus.

For a list of the school’s health and safety guidelines and protocols, you can visit www.covenantday.org/covid19info.

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