Thursday, Wayne County Public Schools reported its first COVID-19 cluster. The cluster, which occurred at North Drive Elementary, involves four staff members and two students, none of whom have been on campus for the past week. Out of an abundance of caution the school will be transitioned to Plan C, full remote instruction, while the district monitors for further cases.
“The school had four reported cases between October 6 and October 9. Today, we learned about two additional cases. Based on contract tracing, we believe these cases are connected,” states Dr. James Merrill, WCPS superintendent.
Last weekend, North Drive Elementary was deep cleaned by a professional cleaning service after the district started seeing a higher than usual number of cases over the course of a week. A second deep clean will occur before any staff or students return to the building.
As part of its COVID-19 response protocols, WCPS reported the cluster to the local health department. All recommended guidelines from the NC Department of Health and Human Services are being followed. In a child care or school setting, NCDHHS defines a COVID-19 cluster as a minimum of five laboratory confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.
North Drive Elementary is the second school WCPS has transitioned from Plan B to Plan C due to COVID-19. Last week, Brogden Primary was transitioned to Plan C until October 20, although it was not considered a COVID-19 cluster. In both situations, WCPS made the decision to transition to Plan C out of an abundance of caution and then notified the health department of its precautionary actions.
Learn more about the district’s COVID-19 response protocols at: https://www.waynecountyschools.org/2020-2021SchoolReopeningUpdates.aspx.