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Individuals at 2 New Hanover schools self-quarantine amid coronavirus concerns

Updated: Mar. 13, 2020 at 3:52 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Officials with New Hanover County Schools say an unspecified number of individuals at two county schools have chosen to self-quarantine themselves as a precaution against the novel coronavirus.

In a Friday morning news release, the school district stated that the individuals were at Williston Middle School and Forest Hills Global Elementary School.

No other details — including what kind of symptoms, if any, the individuals have — were released.

“We’re very concerned about privacy and the law and we’re reviewing the information about what we can share, and if we can share additional information we will do so in the future,” said interim-superintendent Dr. Del Burns.

Burns also said the district is focusing on increasing cleaning protocols, which are already increased during cold and flu season.

Burns offered support for families of students with medical issues who may need to stay home, and also said the district is reviewing policies so virus-related absences will not count against students.

“That is a decision between the family and their healthcare provider and the district will do whatever is necessary to support students and families when they make those very difficult decisions,” he said. “We need for parents to do what they believe is in the best interest for their children.”

Burns said the situation is being monitored closely and district leaders are meeting frequently to discuss changes.

“The district continues to follow the guidance of New Hanover County Public Health in this and all matters related to COVID-19. We encourage you to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS), and the New Hanover County Public Health (NHCHSS),” the news release stated.

Currently, there are 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina and none in the Cape Fear region.

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