RALEIGH – State health officials on Wednesday sent a letter to the Union County Schools Education Board asking board members to reverse Monday’s vote on quarantine policies.
If UCPS does not comply, Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, said the district could face legal action.
The UCPS has stopped COVID-19 contact tracing and quarantines for non-positive faculty, students and staff.
Students can attend school even if they were in close contact with someone with COVID-19.
Only people who test positive should stay at home. Masks are also not mandatory.
[Past coverage: Union County schools stop COVID contact tracing, quarantining for non-positive students, staff]
“If Union County public schools do not take such action by September 17, legal action may be necessary to protect the health of the public,” Cohen said in the letter.
Click here read the entire letter.
North Carolina’s 100 counties are classified as high transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Union County is no exception,” Cohen said in the letter.
Union County had the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the state for children under 18 for the week ending September 11.
“The rate of cases among children in Union County is significantly higher than in counties of similar size and population,” Cohen said.
She said she was concerned that the policies of the education council “pose an imminent threat of serious adverse consequences for the health of students, teachers, staff and the general public”.
She promoted the StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit.
“The toolkit is clear on page 15, that” isolation is required for all suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 “and that” quarantine is required for someone who has been in close contact … with someone. ‘one who is determined positive with COVID-19’ with some exceptions described below (emphasis added). “
Cohen urged in the letter that the UCPS adopt all of the toolkit’s recommendations and reimpose the requirements to cooperate with local public health officials to identify those exposed to COVID-19 and exclude students subject to the measures. isolation and quarantine described in the toolkit. no later than 5 p.m. on Friday.
“The Union County Board of Education received a letter from DHSS Secretary Mandy Cohen late in the evening. The board reviews the letter. When a response is available, it will be shared publicly.
(Watch video below: Union County schools stop COVID contact tracing, quarantine of non-positive students, staff)
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