UNION COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The NC Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Friday that ‘productive conversations’ have been had with the Union County Board of Education over mask and quarantine policies after the board voted recently to stop contract tracing.
The UCPS school board voted earlier this week to end contact tracing and many quarantine protocols, allowing asymptomatic students and staff, and those who had tested negative and had been quarantining, to return to campuses across the county.
While the decision from the county’s school board has been met with praise, particularly on social media, there are a growing number of people who are expressing frustration over it and also whether the state can do anything to overturn what the board voted to do.
As of Friday, 7,905 new cases have been reported in NC, daily percent positive is at 9.7%, 3,573 people are currently hospitalized, and a total of 15,615 people have died from COVID-19, according to NCDHHS.
Statement from NCDHHS on Friday:
“We all share the same goal of keeping our students, teachers and staff in the classroom where children learn best. Excluding students from school should be a last resort. The guidance and recommendations in our StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit are designed to safely keep students in classrooms.
Our attorneys have had productive conversations with attorneys for the Union County Board of Education, and we are hopeful that we can avoid further legal action. We are currently looking at what actions will be taken in Lincoln County. Again, it is our hope that we can work together.
Our priority is to protect student, staff and community health.”
NCDHHS said in their statement they’re looking into what actions will be taken in Lincoln County. As of September 29, the mask mandate in Lincoln County will turn into masks being optional.