Union County school board doing away with contact tracing ‘flies in the face’ of health officials, group says

The North Carolina Association of Educators calls it “startling and deeply concerning.”
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 10:15 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 11:06 AM EDT
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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Reaction continues to come in after the Union County Board of Education voted to end contact tracing.

Not everyone is happy about this decision, which was made Monday morning during a special meeting.

Related: Union County School Board votes to do away with COVID-19 contact tracing, quarantine for those not testing positive, symptomatic

The North Carolina Association of Educators calls it “startling and deeply concerning.” The group released a statement overnight calling the decision, “reckless,” saying it “flies in the face of Union County’s own health department, the state, and federal public health officials.”

Here is the group’s full statement:

Monday night, in a joint special meeting between Union County’s Board of Commissioners and the Consolidated Human Services Board, state and local health leaders updated county officials on COVID-19 numbers and guidance for masking and quarantines under the state toolkit.

The public also had a chance to comment on the school board’s decision.

”I’m here to continue to standup for UCPS Board of Education and my children and the 7,000 healthy children sent back to school where they belong,” one person said.

”If other children in her class are symptomatic and go home and my 11-year-old daughter doesn’t tell me, I have no way of knowing if I can take her to go see my 90-year-old grandmother,” another parent said.

The Union County Board of Education voted Monday to do away with the district’s COVID-19 contact tracing and allow students and staff in quarantine to return to school if they are not positive for the virus or showing symptoms.

The vote was 8-1 in favor of the decision, which was effective immediately.

Union County board members did say staff will continue to handle positive and presumptive positive cases and report any positive cases to the Union County Health Department.

With Monday’s decision, more than 7,000 students and staff members are allowed to return to the classroom.

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