WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Columbus County Schools confirmed two positive cases of COVID-19 at two of its schools.
A student at Old Dock Elementary and a staff member at East Columbus Jr/Sr High tested positive for the virus.
In an email, Dr. Deanne Meadows, the district’s superintendent, said the Columbus County Health Department has worked with the schools on contact tracing.
“All children and adults who were in direct contact have been personally contacted and quarantined,” she wrote. “If an employee or parent was not contacted individually then the staff member or student was not exposed.”
Dr. Meadows wants to stress that those who are ill or who have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not have the test results back yet should stay home. She said parents should not allow their children to come to school until a negative test result and/or do not exhibit any of the COVID symptoms.
She said it takes a community effort to keep the coronavirus from spreading.
“We can control exposure in our schools, and keep our staff and our children safe but we cannot do it alone,” she wrote. “In both cases this week, members of the immediate family had reason to believe that one or more members of the family were positive. Instead of quarantining everyone in the home while waiting for the results, the infected persons came on campus. While asymptomatic at the time of entering the school, their later positive diagnosis means that all who came in close contact must be quarantined. This could have been prevented if those who suspected they were positive would have quarantined themselves and/or their family.”
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.
“We can have a great school year and avoid educational disruptions- and perhaps even return to normal school and school activities- but ONLY if we take precautions,” Dr. Meadows wrote.