SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — New Hanover County Schools has reported the most Covid-19 cases to date, according to the district’s online public dashboard. It is updated every Friday by the New Hanover County Health Department.
“This data is not entered in real-time, but is verified by school nurses and other health department officials before releasing to NHCS,” a note on the dashboard advised. “Therefore, weekly totals may not be reflected by each Friday and may be added to the next week’s totals.”
For the week of Jan. 1-7, it shows 302 positive cases from students and staff.
The district explained on the dashboard the health department did not send over the breakdown of cases by school, though it sorted 31 quarantines.
Anderson — 3
Codington — 1
College Road Early Childhood Center — 1
Freeman Elementary — 10
Snipes Elementary — 10
Murray Middle — 5
Trask Middle — 1
New Hanover County Schools follows the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Strong Schools Toolkit, which advises that fully vaccinated individuals who become exposed to Covid-19 but don’t have symptoms will not need to quarantine.
“Additionally, if an individual is masked when exposed to a COVID positive individual who is also masked, the exposed individual does not need to quarantine (regardless of vaccination status),” the dashboard noted.
A mask mandate was in place for New Hanover Schools faculty, staff, and students until Dec. 6, 2021, when the school board voted to drop it. At the time, the percent positivity on returned Covid-19 tests hovered around health officials’ goal of 5%. Students were in school two weeks without having to wear masks before the holiday break.
They returned on Thursday, Jan. 7, once again required to wear masks. The board voted to reinstate the mandate during its Tuesday, Jan. 4 meeting, as the percent positivity on countywide Covid-19 tests was trending at 23.4%, with an average of 215 cases per day. (Athletes participating in sports won’t have to be masked while playing.)
The last time cases were this high in New Hanover County schools was Sept. 6, 2021, with 224 Covid-19 positive tests and 241 quarantines.
Brunswick County Schools
Brunswick County Schools is reporting over 400 quarantines and 134 active Covid-19 cases, up from 50 reported at the school board meeting Wednesday evening. The board voted unanimously to keep masks optional.
Data is reported on Brunswick County Schools’ dashboard weekly. Below is the breakdown of positive cases in each school. Two cases have been reported in central services and administration.
Belville — 7
Bolivia Elementary — 2
Lincoln Elementary — 5
Southport Elementary — 4
Supply Elementary — 3
Town Creek Elementary — 13
Union Elementary — 5
Jessie Mae Monroe — 3
Virginia Williamson Elementary — 5
Cedar Grove Middle — 2
Leland Middle — 10
Shallotte Middle — 4
South Brunswick Middle — 5
Town Creek Middle — 7
Waccamaw School —6
Early College High — 4
North Brunswick High — 22
South Brunswick High — 11
West Brunswick High — 14
Pender County Schools
Pender County Schools has not updated Covid-19 positive cases since Dec. 12-18, according to its latest report. The holiday break ended Jan. 7.
Its school board voted Dec. 28 to keep masks optional and will meet again Jan. 11 to take up the state-required monthly vote.
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