One Craven County Schools student and two staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, the school district announced on Monday evening.

Four students and three staff were infected and announced on Sept. 10. Before that, four staff were reported ill in late August.

In all, five students and nine staff have tested positive throughout the school district since classes started on Aug. 10.

Although classes are being held online, most teachers and staff are working from their respective schools. Some of them bring their children, while other students — student athletes — have been attending practices.

Craven County commissioners are pressuring the Craven County School Board to reopen classrooms.

“While we cannot legally release the identity of the individuals, we can inform you that our school nurses, in consultation with the Craven County Health Department, have been investigating these cases and anyone who may have had close contact with the positive individuals in the 48 hours prior to developing symptoms has been quarantined,” Craven Schools spokesperson Jennifer Wagner said. “Please note close contact refers to the individual being less than 6 feet away from others for a tot al of 15 minutes or more.

Craven County Schools follows guidance from the Craven County Department of Health (CCHD), North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the safety of all staff and students during the pandemic.

The following process will be followed when a student or staff member tests positive:

  1. Contract tracing will begin at the school and all close contacts will receive a phone call from the school nurse explaining next steps as recommended by the Craven County Health Department and NC Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. The school principal will send a letter via email/Blackboard message to notify all staff and families of the school with the positive case(s).
  3. A press release will be issued to all local media, posted on the district social media sites, and the district website to inform all stakeholders of the positive case(s). If you did not receive direct communication from your school, your school is not impacted.
  4. A district dashboard will be updated on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week to report the total number of new positive cases. This data will not be cumulative but will share the total number of students and staff members testing positive based on the range of days established.

Craven County Schools has implemented strict guidelines related to wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing in its buildings as well as providing regular reminders about hand washing.

“We perform daily temperature and symptom screening of all persons who enter CCS facilities,” the district said in a news release. “Based on guidelines from the CDC, if an employee or student has been determined to have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, they must remain out of school for 14 days since the last date of exposure unless they test positive. In which case, exclusion criteria would apply. (The exclusion criteria process is an employee or student is quarantined for 14 days, if they test positive during the quarantine it is an additional 10 days plus 72 hours after the end of the symptoms whichever is longer.) Employees and students must complete the full 14 days of quarantine, even if they test negative.”

“If any of our staff members and/or students develop symptoms of illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms of illness), we are requiring that they remain home and inform the school nurse of any symptoms. Ensuring that our school family and community are safe is of the greatest importance to our school system. We will continue following our established safety and health protocols.”

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