Brunswick Co. health orders charter school to come into compliance with COVID-19 quarantine protocols after 67 positive cases
LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - Charter Day School officials say they “intend to comply” with quarantine and health requirements after the Brunswick County Health Department issued a control measure against the school last week following dozens of positive COVID-19 cases.
As of Monday, health services has been notified of 67 cases of COVID-19 related to a cluster at the Leland charter school.
An email WECT obtained sent from the school to parents on July 30, 2021, notes, “Students who are between 3-6 feet from an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 may avoid quarantine from our school as long as they do not present any symptoms and agree to wear a mask while at school for 14 calendar days from date of contact. Your student will need to continue the planned quarantine if they have symptoms or if you prefer they do not return wearing a mask.”
The policy noted in the email to parents is not in line with the county’s quarantine guidelines.
“The county health director has sent two emails and had a direct phone call with school officials to provide information on quarantine requirements to date. Additionally, the health director issued a control measure order today to Classical Charter Schools of Leland/Charter Day School/Roger Bacon Academy to notify and direct compliance with specific quarantine and health requirements. The county health director will continue to communicate with the school on these requirements and investigate as necessary to ensure compliance with the control measures,” said a county spokesperson in an email to WECT.
Monday afternoon, the county health department said Charter Day School had received the order and responded that they “intend to comply with it and the recommendations of state and federal guidance for schools.”
A new email went out to families Monday night, announcing changes to their quarantine procedures that line up with the health department’s guidance.
Lester Rodriguez has three daughters that attend the school in Leland and he says he’s very worried about them catching the virus, and also about the potential for it to spread to other members of the family.
“We’ve got older people in the homes that are suffering from different type of sickness like Heart problems diabetes what about them what about those older people what about our parents grandparents that want to see their kids want to see their grandchildren we really aren’t thinking about them,” said Lester Rodriguez. “I don’t think the school is following the guidelines because if they were, we wouldn’t have so much infection.”
Parents like Rodriguez have concerns about things like the school’s optional mask policy, and the emails alleging the school was not in line with proper COVID-19 quarantine procedures.
However, other parents see things differently, like Jay Seville, who believes staff is doing everything they can and appreciates having a choice when it comes to whether his five kids have to wear a mask in school.
“It is what it is. This is a different version of the virus that’s much more contagious so probably in a few weeks when all the other public schools start, I’m confident there’s gonna be thousands of cases and there’s no need to point any fingers at anybody, it’s just the virus and it’s very contagious,” said Seville.
While not everyone sees eye to eye on the best way to handle the outbreak at Charter Day School, they can agree on one thing.
“I want the best for us, for our kids and I hope everyone stays safe. That’s it,” explained Rodriguez.
Health leaders clarify that in the event of close contact with someone with COVID-19, unvaccinated persons, including students and staff, can return to school after completing up to 14 days of quarantine.
The 14 days of quarantine begin after the last known close contact with the COVID-19 positive individual. Alternatively, the person may complete a 10-day quarantine if the person is not presenting symptoms of COVID-19 after daily at-home monitoring, or they may complete 7 days of quarantine if they report no symptoms during daily at-home monitoring, and the individual has received results of a negative antigen or PCR/molecular test on a test taken no earlier than day 5 of quarantine. Either shortened quarantine period shall require the use of a mask.
WECT has reached out to Charter Day School for comment and has yet to hear back from any administrators or board members.
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