Union Co. Schools leaves new transportation center open after workers contract COVID-19, raising concerns

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:55 PM EST
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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - There is more concern after four staffers tested positive for COVID-19 who work at Union County school district’s new Transportation Center.

The dedication of the building happened on Oct. 29. After that event, that’s when the cases were detected. Union County Public Schools (UCPS) now reports another case has been detected at the Transportation Center - taking the number to five cases.

WBTV received an email from a person in fear of retaliation, but with knowledge of what is going on inside the transportation center.

The email states:

“Many people in the facility have been forced to quarantine,” the anonymous person said. “But still there has been no resolve in closing the building to get it under control.”

The person is referring to Union County Public Schools. A recent coronavirus outbreak happened at Wesley Chapel Elementary School.

Several students contracted COVID-19. That school immediately shut down sending students to remote learning. The school will reopen after Thanksgiving break.

The person who sent the email wonders why the new transportation center wasn’t shut down if schools, where there are problems, are shut down.

“They close a school with four confirmed cases,” the anonymous person said. “But are leaving the bus transportation main office open...”

Besides closing the transportation center, there are other concerns.

“We have offices with two people and it is not possible to socially distance in that environment,” the person wrote. “With that being said, there has been no concern for the health of the staff.”

UCPS Assistant Superintendent of Communication sent WBTV this statement regarding the people’s concerns when it comes to leaving facilities open when COVID-19 appears.

“Union County Public Schools is taking the health and safety of each employee and student very seriously. UCPS nurses and Union County Public Health staff are monitoring COVID cases and individuals who are identified as close contacts.

Public Health’s guidance on closing a school or facility is based on a number of factors, including how many positive cases, close contacts associated with the person who needs to quarantine, etc.

UCPS administrators and Union County Public Health staff remain in constant communication and will continue to work together to monitor cases across the district. We will continue to following cleaning protocols as outlined by the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

If employees have questions about COVID-19 or workplace protocols, they are encouraged to contact the UCPS employee COVID Helpline.”

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