Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Brunswick County Schools asks Gov. Roy Cooper to prioritize school staff for vaccines

BRUNSWICK COUNTY – The Brunswick County Schools Board of Education is asking Gov. Roy Cooper to move school employees up the vaccine list.

The board passed a resolution Tuesday evening requesting that the governor include public school employees in Group 2, which currently consists of anyone 65 or older.

RELATED: Cooper urges schools to resume in-person learning

“The success and wellbeing of a community begins with adequate educational opportunities,” Vice Chair Steven Barger said in a statement. “We must call on Governor Cooper to elevate the position of school staff on vaccine administration lists. I’m proud of our board for passing this resolution and showing we value our staff and stand with them.”

Barger urged the other school board members to reach out to “every contact they have” to put pressure on the governor.

Educators and other school employees are next in line to receive the vaccine. They’re grouped in with other workers considered “frontline essential,” which includes restaurant staff, elected officials, public transit employees and more.

“We want to be open,” board member Gerald Benton said during the meeting. “These essential workers were begging us in the beginning of the pandemic when we were virtual that they needed schools open so they could go to work, but yet we’re not prioritized on this. And I just don’t think that’s right for our staff because they’re still put in harm’s way.”

BCS is operating its elementary schools at full capacity, five days a week. Middle and high schoolers are coming into school twice a week, under the Plan B model.

BCS has reported 254 positive cases since Sept. 21. Of those, 48 are active.

The district currently has clusters at Union Elementary, Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary and Town Creek Elementary School.

As of Wednesday, Brunswick County has administered 16,566 doses of the more than 1.14 million vaccines given in North Carolina

Over the next three weeks, Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center, Dosher Memorial Hospital and Brunswick County Health Services are receiving at least 1,275 doses per week. It also received an “equity allotment” this week because it has a higher population of older adults. More than 15,000 Brunswick County residents are 75 or older and another 31,000 people – about a third of the population – are between the ages of 65 and 74.

However, it is unknown whether Brunswick County will continue receiving equity allotments moving forward. The county may have to reschedule appointments it already booked for later this month if supplies are short.

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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