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Safety top of mind as school set to resume for CMS students, teachers

Outgoing county health director Gibbie Harris said Thursday her department has been talking with CMS officials about how to return safely.
Outgoing county health director Gibbie Harris said Thursday her department has been talking with CMS officials about how to return safely.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 7:33 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 31, 2021 at 9:45 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Students and teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools return next week, and with the huge spike in COVID-19 cases, many parents are questioning whether that can happen safely.

Related: N.C. shatters record of new COVID-19 cases with over 18,000 positives in one day

Outgoing county health director Gibbie Harris said Thursday her department has been talking with CMS officials about how to return safely.

One point she reiterated is that masks are required in all CMS schools, including private and parochial schools.

‘That can be your New Year’s resolution’: Mecklenburg Co. leaders urge residents to do their part as positivity rate soars to 15 percent

Harris also said because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tweaking its guidance on testing, isolation and quarantine rules, the county is working to update their rules as well.

“We will be working with the school system to put guidance out to parents, teachers, school systems over the weekend so that everyone has the accurate and up-to-date information,” Harris said.

Related: US officials recommend shorter COVID isolation, quarantine

On Thursday, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction updated the state’s tool kit schools use to guide their policies. It now says students who are up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations don’t need to quarantine if they’re exposed to someone with the virus as long as they’re not feeling sick.

Students who aren’t up-to-date on those vaccinations and who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 will have to quarantine for five days. If after five days they don’t have symptoms, they can go back to school but must wear a mask for an additional five days.

Parents can expect to see updated information from their child’s school over the weekend.

Harris also reiterated that if a child is sick, parents should keep them home.

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