Emereau Charter School clarifies COVID clusters vs. case numbers

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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ELIZABETHTOWN, N.C. (WECT) - Amid confusion about reports of COVID-19 positive cases in schools, the executive director of Emereau Charter School tried to make clear to the public Wednesday the difference between COVID-19 clusters and active cases at the school.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services website identifies clusters in child care and K-12 schools; however, these numbers do not represent active cases.

Emereau has 42 positive COVID cases listed on its website, but only one case is active at the school right now.

Executive Director of Emeraeu Charter School Elizabeth Cole said for that number to go back to zero, two weeks has to pass without a positive case.

“So, I think the interpretation of the general public needs to be that when these numbers are reported, and they’re updated every so often. It always indicates on the report when they’re updated. I just think for the public to understand the dashboard reports cumulative numbers and not active cases.”

Emereau’s only active case right now is able to return back to school this week.

“And ultimately, our goal at Emereau is to maintain in-person, face to face learning safely and trying to maintain a staff and student body that remains well,” says Cole.

The most recent update on the NCDHHS website includes the following explanation:

A cluster is considered over if there is not evidence of continued transmission within the setting. This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the latest date of specimen collection in an asymptomatic person, whichever is later. If another case is detected in a child care or school setting after a cluster is declared over, the cluster is not reopened. If additional cases are subsequently reported and a new cluster exists, it will be reported as a second, new cluster in that setting.

Cases listed...represent the cumulative number of cases during the cluster and do not necessarily represent active cases.

Current (as of Sept 28) childcare or school settings with an ongoing cluster can be viewed here.

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