As COVID-19 cases surge across the state, PCS Board of Education members discuss school operations

As COVID-19 cases surge across the state, PCS Board of Education members discuss school operations
Pender county schools (Source: wect)

PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Pender County Schools Board of Education made no changes to the plans currently in place for elementary, middle or high schools at a meeting Tuesday night.

Dr. T. Blumenreich presented an update on COVID-19 school operations and included a report from the health department.

As of January 11th in Pender County, there are 2850 COVID-19 cases, 27 deaths and a positivity rate of 18.5%. Vaccinations are being scheduled; however, more supplies are needed. The presenter with the health department said teachers and support staff over age 50 will be vaccinated in Group 2 of Phase 1b. Those under age 50 will be included in Group 3. Information about transitions to different vaccination phases will be on the website and Facebook page when available.

One board member cited a recently-published Duke study that showed transmission in schools was almost non-existent. This was believed to be the case locally.

Last week, the Pender County Schools dashboard listed 21 cases total and 131 quarantined due to exposure. Today, 21 new cases were added. Board members commended the health department and schools for working together to initiate contact tracing and quarantine as required.

The operations manager said that schools have adequate supplies and safety protocols are in place. With transportation, elementary and middle school buses are approaching capacity limits according to guidelines for Plan B with some elementary buses are doing double routes.

No discussion took place about the added load across all departments from the transition to Plan A at elementary schools.

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