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Union Co. Schools quarantine numbers drop by thousands after changing COVID-19 contact tracing, quarantine protocols

Both totals include students and employees district-wide for in-person students and staff.
Just last week, there were more than 7,000 people in quarantine.
Just last week, there were more than 7,000 people in quarantine.(HNN)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 5:24 PM EDT
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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Just under 2,000 people including students and staff are isolated/excluded in Union County Schools as 352 tested positive for COVID-19 within the school district.

A total of 1,822 people are in isolation. Both totals include students and employees district-wide for in-person students and staff.

Just last week, there were more than 7,000 people in quarantine.

But recently, 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 most recent numbers account for the week of Sept. 13-Sept. 17. The school district broke down the numbers based on students and staff.

Total Students Isolated/ExcludedTotal Students PositiveTotal Staff Isolated/ExcludedTotal Staff Positive
Elementary = 810Elementary = 104Elementary = 74Elementary = 13
Middle = 377Middle = 79Middle = 33Middle = 8
High = 472High = 136High = 46High = 9
Central Office = 0Central Office = 0Central Office = 10Central Office = 3

The school district has become the center of conversation around COVID-19 and schools in North Carolina as State Health Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen sent the district a letter asking them to comply with state guidance by Friday, or legal action could be taken. Cohen says the school board’s decision “poses an imminent threat of serious, adverse health consequences for students, teachers, staff, and the public.”

And on Friday, officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services say their attorneys have had “productive conversations” with Union County School Board attorneys about their safety protocols in order to avoid legal action against the district.

District officials already said masks and face coverings will continue to be optional for all students and staff members within Union County Public Schools this coming school year.

This comes despite recommendations from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and state health officials.For students who do have to quarantine, UCPS has a three-tiered support system to make sure students don’t fall behind in their course work.

This includes online instruction, phone calls, emails, tutoring, small group and individual instruction.

  • Tier I: Traditional school day/after-school support
  • Tier II: After-school/weekend support
  • Tier III: District tutors

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